TopTenn

The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

Recommended Posts

jice, your points on the STL is correct. It is $1.25 to ride and MetroLink is used extensively for things like ball games, special events, fireworks, etc. When one of these events are over, it normally takes about 20-45 minutes to clear out everyone depending on the event/number of people. I can attest that this is a great use for rail and think we will catch on to that concept pretty quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


So they there is an idea out there to try to add on financing a LRT when they go for the convention center? Interesting. Maybe it would work. I think Metro Council and others may be wary though of trying to gamble on selling that to their constituents that soon. I think maybe in 10-15 years they might be more open to starting a project, but I would be suprised if they get it done by 2015. Not to say it couldn't be done.

I've been reading about the Music City Star line to Lebanon. I hope it's a success so the other lines proposed in the system also get built. But once commuters get downtown, they might need to transfer to another vehicle to continue their trips. I think LRT should also be given a good look for Nashville. Granted, there are concerns that LRT is expensive (though a heavy-rail New York-style subway would cost much more). So I was thinking that maybe Nashville could start by doing a streetcar line from the Riverfront to Vanderbilt. It could use historic cars like in Memphis or Charlotte or modern ones like in Portland. Either way, it would be less money in the beginning and the streetcar line could serve as a foundation for a light rail system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading about the Music City Star line to Lebanon. I hope it's a success so the other lines proposed in the system also get built. But once commuters get downtown, they might need to transfer to another vehicle to continue their trips. I think LRT should also be given a good look for Nashville. Granted, there are concerns that LRT is expensive (though a heavy-rail New York-style subway would cost much more). So I was thinking that maybe Nashville could start by doing a streetcar line from the Riverfront to Vanderbilt. It could use historic cars like in Memphis or Charlotte or modern ones like in Portland. Either way, it would be less money in the beginning and the streetcar line could serve as a foundation for a light rail system.

I REALLY like that idea. I think those old streetcars have a great look... as do those modern ones! Really great suggestion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Granted, there are concerns that LRT is expensive (though a heavy-rail New York-style subway would cost much more). So I was thinking that maybe Nashville could start by doing a streetcar line from the Riverfront to Vanderbilt. It could use historic cars like in Memphis or Charlotte or modern ones like in Portland. Either way, it would be less money in the beginning and the streetcar line could serve as a foundation for a light rail system.

What exactly is the different, would you say, between a light rail line and Portland's transit system?

I was under the impression that Portland's transit system WAS a light rail line. Maybe there is a distinction that I am failing to get...perhaps a speed difference or something.

I would die for Nashville to have a light rail system connection all of its core neighborhoods. I wish the awesome one the city was blessed with back in the day had not been completely dismantled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a link to a group in Austin trying to bring LRT to their city. I thought it was very informative. The fact section has links to various US systems including Portlands.

Light Rail Now Website

TriMet: Meet Portland's LRT

They define Portland's as LRT. I do love the idea of light rail in Nashville, but who is seriously pushing it in this town?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking more about my post last night. Is there an advocacy group that has been pushing mass transit in Nashville?. Is MTA the only entity promoting the Music City Star? Who were the community groups that were a part of making this a reality? Is there a politician that has discussed LRT as a good idea?

The streets that have room to more easily accommodate LRT in Nashville would be West End, Main Street, Murfreesboro Rd (Lafayette), 8th Ave South and North, Music Row, Charlotte, Church and 12th Avenue (it would be hard to get to 12 South Though).

How can we make this happen?

Does anyone know how Memphis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish the awesome one the city was blessed with back in the day had not been completely dismantled.

What are you referring to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you referring to?

I would bet he is referring to the trolley system Nashville had at the turn of the century. I may be wrong though. That would have been great if we still had that system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would bet he is referring to the trolley system Nashville had at the turn of the century. I may be wrong though. That would have been great if we still had that system.

The interurban as I believe it was called, ran to Hendersonville and Gallatin from downtown Nashville as a commuter trolley service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be a streetcar system in Nashville. I believe there was even a line that went all the way to Belle Meade. I have heard that the reason B.M. Blvd has the wide median was b/c it used to be the bed for the streetcar tracks. I really don't know if that's true. Maybe somebody else knows for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interurban as I believe it was called, ran to Hendersonville and Gallatin from downtown Nashville as a commuter trolley service.

I KNEW IT! I told several people that I remember seeing a picture of an electric trolley that ran to Gallatin, but everyone thought I was crazy. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you referring to?

There used to be a HUGE electric streetcar system that serviced the entire city of Nashville. It was amazing. There are still vestiges of it throughout the city...submerged rail poking out of worn patches of asphalt, some downtown street patterns that were designed to accomodate trolley barns, etc.

There used to be an old retired streetcar which remained as a testament to the system, over by Fort Negley somewheres. I believe the operators of the Cumberland Science Museum took a tractor and ground it to its demise, down a ravine, in order to make room for an expansion. Several locals begged to be allowed to take it and restore it, perhaps to give it to the Tennessee State Museum, but I guess someone else thought it would be more fun to drop it off a small cliff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but I guess someone else thought it would be more fun to drop it off a small cliff.

lol... that's horrible! The way you put it was kinda funny though... :P

It's too bad that streetcar system isn't in place anymore... now that it could actually be useful again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol... that's horrible! The way you put it was kinda funny though... :P

It's too bad that streetcar system isn't in place anymore... now that it could actually be useful again!

After "urban renewal", the greatest crime of the 20th century in our towns and cities was the total and complete dismantling of the trolley system from coast to coast. Even in small towns, trolleys were an integral part of the urban fabric. It's sad to realize perhaps the only 3 places you can experience this in only the mildest form is San Francisco, New Orleans, and Memphis. Perhaps we'll beat a return to the old days (and btw, dressing up buses like trolleys don't count !).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly is the different, would you say, between a light rail line and Portland's transit system?

I was under the impression that Portland's transit system WAS a light rail line. Maybe there is a distinction that I am failing to get...perhaps a speed difference or something.

I would die for Nashville to have a light rail system connection all of its core neighborhoods. I wish the awesome one the city was blessed with back in the day had not been completely dismantled.

Portland does have light rail, the MAX lines. These use large, articulated light-rail vehicles. I believe they can reach up to 55 mph. They run in wide center street medians and private right-of-way outside of downtown. But there is also the Portland Streetcar. This is a smaller line that runs primarily in the northwest part of downtown Portland and almost entirely on city streets. They have smaller railcars (66' long, which is about 2/3 the length of a MAX car) which can not go as fast as a MAX train can. This could be the model for a Nashville streetcar.

I consider MAX (and other recently-built light-rail systems) to be modern-day interurbans, becaue the rail cars are large (like the old interurban cars were) and many of them utilize private right-of-ways as the old interurbans did. Streetcars used private right-of-ways too, but generally not to the extent of interurbans.

.

Edited by Mike D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is long, but I do not remember these links being posted. I apologize if they have already been posted. I wish Nashville was pursuing a LRT option, but based on the information below it not looking like it will happen any time soon. Though I think the increased densities that we are seeing in the core of Nashville is helping the case. This was just getting started when many of these plans were completed.

The idea of the BRT that looks like a LRT system, but cheaper to implement could offer a great transition since it is cheaper and flexible. I think the most important aspect of a future system is that is not just be a hub in downtown, but offers greater flexibility to get around town.

This has a photo of the old trolley system in Nashville, but also discusses the evolution of transportation in Nashville and its potential future.

Plan of Nashville Chapter: Making Connections

This includes a map of a vision for a proposed mass transit system for Nashville.

Plan of Nashville: Nashville's Future Transit System

The above plan relies heavily on Bus Rapid Transit/"Rubber Tire Solution". I have heard that this is a viable option to and LRT. The buses are designed to look like LRT and have dedicated lanes and formal platforms for stops. This link shows some examples of these.

Photo Examples of BRT

This is the latest plan that I could find on the MPO's website. It is not very encouraging for future recommendations for LRT. It has some great information about densities required for LRT and other forms of mass transit and has a useful matrix comparing the various forms of mass transit they would consider.

MPO: Nashville Area Transit Development Plan

This is a list of the TIP projects that are funded for the next few years. As expected, LRT is not on it. It is interesting to see where the priorities are though.

MPO: Quick List of Transportation Improvement Projects in Middle, TN 2006-2008

This is the MPO's main site the download section does have various reports about transportation:

Metropolitan Planning Organization's website

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks for all of those links. They were all very interesting and gave some new information. I love the one with Nashville's Future Transit System. I didn't know Nashville's future transit system was so thought out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking forward to the Music City Star. I am really looking forward to the potential future expansion of the system. one thing doesnt make sense to me. why the river front station? i understand the first line was built at minimal expense, but it seems any other future lines will have to end at Union Station. the east corridor connects to the rails n the gulch, so why not? right-of-way maybe, but there is no way if all the proposed lines are built that they could end at riverfront. not to mention Union Station is more centralized. why drop commuters on the edge when you could drop them in the center? i understand RTA cannot afford to but the hotel(yet), but why not plan for the future. lets take back for the city what the city originally had!

if anyone has comments or critizism please post. im just dreaming of a future in which Union Station is once again an exciting center of transit in Music City!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking forward to the Music City Star. I am really looking forward to the potential future expansion of the system. one thing doesnt make sense to me. why the river front station? i understand the first line was built at minimal expense, but it seems any other future lines will have to end at Union Station. the east corridor connects to the rails n the gulch, so why not? right-of-way maybe, but there is no way if all the proposed lines are built that they could end at riverfront. not to mention Union Station is more centralized. why drop commuters on the edge when you could drop them in the center? i understand RTA cannot afford to but the hotel(yet), but why not plan for the future. lets take back for the city what the city originally had!

if anyone has comments or critizism please post. im just dreaming of a future in which Union Station is once again an exciting center of transit in Music City!

Hey NashvilleWill,

I agree with you that it would be neat if Union Stations where a transit hub once again. But since thats probably impossible (due to ownership, etc...) how would you feel about having THIS for a transit station?

calatrava%20new%20york%20transit%20station%202.jpg

calatrava%20new%20york%20transit%20station.jpg

Is that not AWESOME?!?!?!

I know you're against having the transit station by the river... but that would look super cool next to the water... looks almost like sails. VERY COOL!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nashvillwill, if you check out one of the links that I think was on this thread just a page or two ago, you can see that the other 4 lines meet at one station in the gulch. For some reason, the Lebanon line is the only one at the Riverfront station. I guess it would be too hard to get this line into the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now