Who will mass transit benefit if passed in Nashville?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - The "Let’s Move Nashville" transit plan includes expanded bus routes, a commuter rail, light rail and an underground tunnel downtown. It all comes with a price of nearly $9 billion.  

We all foot the bill but who will see the benefit? 

“We're going to expand the stops, we're going to expand where the buses go. Those types of things, and we're going to expand all the hours...” As if on cue, a truck roared by, interrupting Councilwoman Antoinette Lee as she explained why something needs to be done about “all of the traffic.” 

“I-24 is crazy. But not just 24, All of the little through roads and everything, in this area, they are in the morning, rush hour, in the afternoons, they are like packed,” said Councilwoman Lee, who represents District 33, including Antioch.

Lee believes the proposed transit plan will help alleviate some of the gridlock and said Antioch stands to benefit if it passes. 

 READ: Before you vote, read the proposed plan

 “When that transit center comes out here in this area, that's going to be a good thing.” 

 A Neighborhood Transit Center will be built near the Global Mall, one of 19 the proposed plan funds. 

The centers will be built through 2023 and will include parking, bike-sharing stations, a waiting area and vending.

Professor Janey Camp, who studies transportation solutions at Vanderbilt University, said the hubs and increased bus routes mean more economic opportunity and improved quality of life.

“I think those living along routes are going to see opportunities and businesses pop up along those routes that weren't there before and I think it will be easier to get where you need to go,” said Professor Camp. 

Professor Camp has analyzed the plan and said apart from decreased travel time and increased economic opportunities, low-income people and senior citizens will benefit. 

“The fact that they can ride for free and they are not going to have those daily fees associated with getting where they need to go,” said Professor Camp. 

Young people and those with disabilities will also get a reduced or free fare. 

Professor Camp also sees tourists as winners if the transit plan passes. 

She expects they’d be happy to take the light rail from the airport to downtown rather than pay for a rental car, parking and gas. 

“Instead they can be [spending their money] to enjoy what Nashville has to offer.” 

Councilwoman Lee, who supports the plan, and Dr. Camp, who has studied it, both agree, “a lot of people would win,” if the transit plan passes. 

Early voting is underway in Davidson County. The election is May 1.  

News 2 also investigated who stands to lose if the plan passes. Click here for that story. 

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