On April 18, more than 100 people gathered at AT&T to learn more about Nashville’s plans to increase access to mass transit. The program, “Transit Means Business,” was one of a series of events taking place during Transit Week.
The event was co-hosted by the Chamber, Transit Now Nashville,
the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee,
the Nashville Civic Design Center
and Mayor Karl Dean's office.
The group heard from Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee Executive Director Ed Cole, Nashville Civic Design Center Executive Director Julia Landstreet, and panelists Paul Ballard, Metropolitan Transit Authority
(MTA)/Regional Transportation Authority CEO; Terry Clements, vice president of government and community relations at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau;
Bert Mathews, chair of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; and Tom Turner, president and CEO of the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
Mayor Dean gave an overview of where we are as a city and region with regard to mass transit. He pointed out that companies are increasingly prioritizing access to mass transit when they consider cities in which to locate. In order to remain competitive, we must move forward with mass transit locally and regionally. Fortunately, steps are being taken on both fronts to address our transit needs.
Locally, the East-West Connector
is now in its second phase – the preliminary engineering and environmental analysis. The first phase, alternative analysis, concluded bus rapid transit is the most efficient and cost-effective solution. This decision was approved by the MTA board in January. The East-West Connector would operate in dedicated lanes from Five Points in East Nashville to White Bridge Road in West Nashville. A conceptual video of the East-West Connector can be viewed here.
On a regional level, the Middle Tennessee Mayors' Caucus
is focused on common-sense solutions to transit access. Main corridors -- like the northeast corridor between Sumner and Davidson counties, the southeast corridor between Rutherford and Davidson counties, the southern corridor between Williamson and Davidson counties and the northwest corridor between Montgomery and Davidson counties -- are all being examined for potential transit solutions.
A video of the “Transit Means Business” event can be viewed here.
Thanks to all who participated in this important effort to move our city and region forward.
Panelists Paul Ballard, MTA; Terry Clements, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau; Bert Mathews, Mathews Company, Colliers International, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; and Tom Turner, Nashville Downtown Partnership, at the Transit Means Business event on April 18.