Nashville group touts cheaper, faster solution to traffic issues than $9 billion plan

 In Alternatives, Traffic Issues, Transit Cost

A group of people in Nashville are pushing for cheaper and faster solutions to Metro $9 billion transit plan.

The plan is up for a vote May 1st and could mean quite a tax hike leaving some to wonder if a plan with that high of a price tag is Nashville’s best option.

Midstate drivers have said they’re simply tired of waiting for relief. Lindsay Wolfe said her evening commute from Nashville to Antioch really cuts into the time she gets to spend with her 10 year old son.

“He misses me at home in the afternoons because he gets home early,” Wolfe said. “And so I say ‘I’m on my way!’ so yeah he knows Mom doesn’t usually get home for about an hour and a half in the afternoons.”

On the May ballot, Davidson county voters’ only option for a solution is Metro’s $9 billion transit plan which includes more buses, a light rail system along four key highways and a nearly two mile underground tunnel downtown. It would all require tax hikes. Metro councilman Jeremy Elrod is the plan’s sponsor and said this is a big moment for the city.

“This transit vote is the biggest step forward we can make as a city and I’ve got confidence we’re going to approve it,” Elrod said.

Nashville resident John Maddox is one of the people spearheading the group, Nashville Plan “B” – Mass Transit Alternatives.

“Let’s look at are there realistic, viable, cost effective solutions that we could try as a city and solve this problem faster, cheaper and more effectively?,” Maddox said.

Maddox said one idea to help ease traffic is rideshare mass transit, which he said is much more cost effective.

“We could pull this off for about 60 million dollars a year with everybody getting to ride for free,” Maddox said.

For that model, Maddox said it would take leasing 416 passenger vans that carry 15 people. Then similar to Uber & Lyft, the option would use GPS coordinates and people could ride the van closest to their current location. Maddox said it could all be up and running in two years.

“No tax increase would be required,” Maddox said. “It would actually save the taxpayer money because we wouldn’t have to spend as much as we already are.”

Maddox explained that the option is cheaper than the current MTA budget and could move more people while easily adding regional stops as the midstate continues to grow.

But Maddox said it’s not the only alternative. They will present more options at an event this Sunday.Nashville Plan “B” is hosting a mass transit mixer at the Inglewood Lounge 3914 Gallatin Pike in East Nashville from 4-6pm. For more information, go to http://nashvilleplanb.com.

Originally Published Here

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