Nashville committee opposes transit plan, provides alternatives

 In Alternatives, Traffic Issues, Transit Cost

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In just over a month, Nashvillians will vote on sweeping mass transit change.

But for some, $9 billion is far too high a price tag, and one local group is spreading the word on what they believe are alternatives.

After months of ads, and info, a new proposal is making the rounds.

Nashville Plan B is a political action committee, brainchild of John Maddox, and Johann Porisch.

“We started talking about our ideas, about where Nashville was going,” Porisch explained. “We saw that there was an opportunity to present another option to people.”

Their plan, includes utilizing technology similar to Uber and Lyft county wide.

They hope to have MTA lease a fleet of vans, to be used in a yet to be created ridesharing app.

The plan, in theory, would mean people could leave home using their phone, getting to work without having to find a bus stop.

Similar programs have worked in smaller cities. Arlington Texas recently did away with their bus system all together, partnering up with ridesharing company’Via’.

The van portion of ‘Plan B’, would cost an estimated $40 million, says Johann, but would keep the bus system in place.

However, in the long run, the bus system would be substantially scaled back.

“The bus would become less and less necessary,” he explained. “Ideally, the bus system eventually would only be running in the areas that were really, really high demand.”

Councilman Jeremy Elrod, who co-sponsored Lets Move Nashville, disagrees with the PAC’s plan, sending the following statement to News 2:

The current plan gives Nashvillians more options in how they want to get around the city by providing a robust transit system. It greatly improves the current bus system with a bus stopping every 15 minutes, routes running longer into the evening, and adds several new cross town routes. It also includes light rail for five of the city’s main corridors in dedicated lanes that will be move faster than the traffic. The current plan was picked by Nashvillians in a years long process, is paid for by dedicated revenue, and is supported by 121 local organizations and businesses. Plan B is just smoke and mirrors that doesn’t increase bus service, adds more vehicles that will still sit in traffic, and calls for untold millions of dollars in adding more interstates in downtown Nashville that won’t relieve congestion, all while not even saying how it will be paid for.

Mayor David Briley’s office weighed in with the following statement:

Let’s Move Nashville represents years of public engagement and input. It will enhance walkability and safety, improve access to jobs, education and services, and accommodate our rapid growth, which is why the region’s mayors endorsed it today. The most thoughtful, comprehensive and well-vetted plan to invest in Nashville’s future is the one on the ballot on May 1.

Originally Published Here

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