Regional Mobility Solutions Depend Heavily on Dedicated Funding

Authored by: Greg Bailey, Chair, Moving Forward Mobility Policy Task Force

Moving Forward, an initiative led by Nashville area business and community leaders, devoted the last several months to studying models of regional transit across the country and how these regions coordinated across jurisdictional boundaries to provide transit options to residents.

While the Nashville region is in the early stages of creating a regional transit system, compared to most of the regions we studied, the study positions Middle Tennessee to learn from the experiences of others. After careful consideration, the Task Force chose to study Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Denver, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Raleigh, NC; Seattle, WA; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

The Task Force focused on five points of coordination to create a regional transit system: 1) regional governance or coordination structures, 2) planning for transit, 3) securing and distributing funding for transit, 4) implementing / constructing transit, and 5) operating transit. The review of peer regions, focusing on these five points of coordination, revealed that there is no single model that ensures successful creation of regional transit.

Middle Tennessee possesses many of the tools needed for regional transit success, with our regional coordination efforts comparable to many of our peers. The tool that the region lacks is dedicated funding for transit. The peer regions that have shown success in delivering mobility options all have funding streams dedicated solely to transit.

As the Middle Tennessee region grows, the need for effective and reliable mobility options becomes more pressing. Creating more mobility options through transit continues to be one of the top priorities of regional leadership. Middle Tennessee has the tools for successful coordination. The focus needs to remain on developing compelling transportation plans that benefit the region’s residents and a continued focus on securing dedicated funding to convert the plans to action.

To view the Regional Coordination Study in its entirety, visit

For additional coverage on the recent Moving Forward Scorecard and Regional Coordinaton Study, please see the links below.

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