Nashville Chamber CEO addresses transit issues with regional leaders

Ralph Schulz, CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted a panel of regional transit thought leaders to discuss what’s next in the transit conversation for Middle Tennessee. The panel was hosted by the Chamber’s long-time partner Cumberland Region Tomorrow at their annual Power of 10 Summit.

Members of the panel were Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess, Jimmy Johnston from Forward Sumner and Toks Omishakin from TDOT. Though Davidson County will be acting first on transit issues, the transit conversation needs to include the entire region. These community leaders discussed what residents and businesses from across the Middle Tennessee region need to know about transit and how it will affect your life, your business and the community at large.

A lot has already been accomplished in the development of a transit plan that works for the region. The nMotion transit plan was adopted by MTA and RTA in September of 2016. This master plan outlines the transit goals of the region for the next 25 years.

The passage of the IMPROVE Act gives Middle Tennesseans a voice for securing local, dedicated funding for transit. However, not all Middle Tennessee counties were included in the IMPROVE Act and the Chamber will be urging the legislature to include Cheatham, Dickson, Maury and Robertson counties in the legislation during the next legislative session.

Also, Moving Forward, a transit initiative made up of business and community leaders, recently released their 2017 Report. This report includes key recommendations for transit policy in the coming year, as well as an in depth look at options for funding transit projects.

How does the transit conversation affect your life?

Every county in the Middle Tennessee region is affected by transit issues. Even if you do not live or work in Davidson County, you are experiencing the effects of the region’s growth on transit issues.

  • Wilson County – The top industry in Wilson County is logistics. If goods can’t move efficiently in and out of the county, the economy will suffer.
  • Williamson County – 69% of the county’s workforce commutes into Williamson County every day.
  • Rutherford County – 36,726 workers commute from Rutherford County to Davidson county every day, which is the largest daily flow of commuters in the region.
  • Sumner County – 21,500 workers commute into Sumner County every day, which shows how important efficient transit is to the county’s diverse economic mix.
  • Montgomery County – Clarksville is the 5th largest city in Tennessee with draws like Austin Peay University and Fort Campbell that bring in employees, students and visitors from across the region.

To learn more about transit and get involved with shaping the region’s transit strategy, visit Moving Forward’s website. Moving Forward offers community and business leaders a chance to be an important part of the transit conversation.

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