Mayor Megan Barry attracts hundreds of business leaders and residents for transit talk
More than 300 residents and business leaders attended the “Let’s Talk Transit” event held on January 10 at Nissan Stadium. The event was a joint effort of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Area Advisory Councils, the Urban Land Institute of Nashville, the Nashville Civic Design Center and the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
In a candid talk, Mayor Barry stressed the importance of tackling transit now. “This investment gives people independence and gives Nashville something unique,” she said. “It is a big bold plan. Transit doesn’t fail cities. Cities fail transit when they don’t invest enough.”
The mayor also took dozens of questions from an audience comprised of Chamber members and business and community leaders. She addressed concerns about funding the plan through taxes, including the proposed sales tax increase detailed here, how quickly the current bus system would be expanded with longer hours of service and greater frequency, how many jobs would be created by the plan, and more. It was a great chance for voters to hear directly from the Mayor on the issues they care about most in the transit plan.
The meeting also gave a platform to Charlane Oliver from Project Register, a nonpartisan initiative launched by Congressman Jim Cooper and State Senator Steve Dickerson to improve Tennessee’s voter registration and participation. Currently, Tennessee ranks 50th in the nation for voter turnout and 40th in voter registration.
The transit discussion is gaining steam in anticipation of the February 6 vote by Metro Council to determine whether or not the Let’s Move Nashville plan will be included on the May 1 ballot. On January 9, Metro Council held a public hearing on the bill during which transit supporters, including many Chamber members, voiced their support for the plan.
There is still plenty of time to get involved in the discussion. If you’d like to receive updates about the efforts to create a regional mass transit solution for Middle Tennessee you can sign up for weekly updates from Moving Forward.
You can also sign the Transit for Nashville petition here to show your support for transit and ask that the Let’s Move Nashville plan be put on the ballot for Nashville voters to decide.
To learn more about the Let’s Move Nashville plan, visit this website: LetsMoveNashville.com.
One of the Chamber’s top priorities is transit. If you are not yet a Chamber member, click here to learn more about what membership with the Chamber means for your business.