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FrijolMalo

Transit in Nashville

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So with gas now around $3.50/gallon and no price drop in sight, it's quickly becoming apparent that we need mass transit infrastructure here in Nashville. How do we make this happen. There seems to be a rough time getting people to accept it though. Most people just want the price of gas to come down and don't want to change their lifestyles. What do you propose we do in order to change this?

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Bring busloads of more enlightened people to Nashville. Kidding. It will take educating gas addicts, for one. Equally important, there needs to be an efficient system in place to point to. It needs to be good enough to be an example, or a model for other cities. On that note, what is a comparable city to Nashville that has an exemplary transit system? I would use the bus or any other public transit if it were convenient, reliable and cost effective. Nashville is missing the convenience factor. There's are two bus stops in eyesight of my home, but from what I've heard it would pretty much consume several hours [more than driving myself] to ride to Green Hills or West End from downtown.

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portland is a city comarable to Nashville with a great public transportation system, Charlotte is comparable, i'm assuming san jose, maybe san antone... I would love to see something in downtown Nashville, gas is just ridiculous.

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Charlotte's Lynx opened its first leg in November 2007. The 20 year build out plan shows an extensive transit system to many populated areas of the Charlotte Metro. The Lynx system already has 15 stations from Uptown to I-485 south. The system will be vital to Charlotte's overall cosmopolitan appeal and ridership has proven strong so far. Nashville should have opened its first leg to Murfreesboro. Student population and high percentage of people from here who work in Nashville justifies such. Since funding for road projects has been significantly reduced, Nashville should refocus its attention to green solutions the way Franklin is proposing. Franklin is proposing a bike lane plan and also many more sidewalks throughout the city. It will be quite some time before the Music City Star is a "real" and convenient solution to traffic troubles. Nashville is also at a disadvantage due to the population's addiction to cars and outdated interstate system. If rail were made an option for me then i would certainly be riding.

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I think we need strong Oregon style land use laws to help build the density necessary to make mass transit feasible, but good luck getting that to fly with the "It's my property and I'll do what I want with it no matter how it affects everyone else," crowd.

Plus, I think we need to make in-town connectivity better before we focus on transit from the exurbs. People coming in from Murfreesboro and Lebanon need something to connect to once they get into town. In the future, I'd really like to see a regional rail system connect with a streetcar circulator system.

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We need multiple millions of dollars in Nashville to make public transit work. We are talking elevated rail systems w/ multiple stops and thought out bus routes that relate to it. Until Nashville commits to a project of this granduer, this city will never reach its potential. If you think about the recent boom in condo/hotel/office buildings, they were all built knowing that Nashville doesn't have a great public transit system, thus they catered highly to the automobile (parking spaces available for all residents in a downtown condo for example). I'm not sure what has to give first...Nashville committing (I mean REALLY committing) to a public transportation service, or developers saying they won't sit massive buildings on top of huge parking garages (thus making tenants/owners/occupants demand better public transit). I hate to be Debbie Downer on this, but I don't see a solution here within the next 30 years. It may not be all that bad, though. Gas prices will limit sprawl and keep Nashville to a managable size. I'm sure everyone here agrees we don't want the uncontrolled behaviors of Atlanta...we like having water during the summer months.

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Unfortunately, Nashville is doing just the opposite of what they need to do. They are raising fares and cutting services. I can see raising fares because of gas prices, but if anything they should be adding routes with the price of gas. Barakat is not far off when he was kidding about enlightened people. We do need more enlightened leadership to take a radical position to really get the mass transit ball rolling. Maybe Mayor Dean can make things happen. :)

I will have to say they are on the right track by starting a BRT route and the new transit center, but IMO, it is 20 years too late, along with the rail.

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With the tight budget year coupled with Dean's dedication to education and puplic safety, I dont really expect dean to dig in on this. To be perfectly honest I think clement would have been more interested in at least pushing for better transit. Dont get me wrong though. I think good education should take priority and I'm very glad Dean won.

To be perfectly honest, I think gas is going to have to reach catastrophic prices before the public will wake up. But if the price rises too fast before the government can adapt (such as getting hybrid buses) then the cost of public transportation will just go up too. The mta has a long track record of being frugel with just about eveything they do. We know and they probably know that light rail would be successful here in Nashville but insted of just getting it done, they do years of "research" and dabble their feat in lesser projects. I think we need a better bus system as well and they finally are taking steps in the right direction (finally) but at this rate we'll be long dead before Nashville gets a real rail system.

What needs to happen is real dedication by our political leaders, a little help from the federal government, and a puplic that really and truely wants it to happen. When the people become dedicated to something, anything can become a reality no matter how far behind the rest of the country we are. Plus we all know firsthand that circumstances can change at the drop of the dime (just look at all the good retail news lately) so all hope isn't lost for mass transit infastructure.

EDIT- I forgot to say that that's great that franklin is taking those steps. Bike lanes seems a little premature as franklin is still aeons behind Nashville when it comes to density but you know what; when it does reach that level it will already have that infastructure in place. Better premature than too late. Nashville could learn a thing or two.

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I was disappointed that Dean's BRT program didn't get initially implemented this year, but I really think he wanted to and it was just because it was a slow budget year. Here's a CDC plan on future transit in Nashville:

http://www.civicdesigncenter.org/policy-Transit.html

Obviously this is out of date b/c it doesn't include the Music City Central, but it isn't totally useless

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Hopefully, Nashville is headed in the right direction, even if a little behind. Mayor Dean seems to be really supportive of better city transportation, and maybe in the next few years we'll see his support come through. The way gas prices are soaring, I'm sure we'll see some impact on ridership in a good way.

edit: Great find franktown. I wonder how serious they are about implementing light rail eventually? I guess the BRT is the first step, but not until next year, right?

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Simply put, Nashville's current culture is not civic-minded enough; historically, there has been little sense of maintaining and improving "community" in Nashville's growth and development. Because of this overt fact, marked [governmental measures] are needed to make effective mass transit a reality for Nashvillians. After all, it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the overall welfare of its citizenry, from the affluent to the penurious. That responsibility includes transporting citizens around n' about the city (so the citizens can make money and spend it!). Oftentimes, the masses with the most political clout, but not necessarily the most foresight or education, do not consider what is, in fact, in the best interest of the city as a whole. Therefore, any tactic short of drastic legislation initiating the development and implementation of a convenient and efficient mass transit system in Nashville will most likely meet with the same minor fascination-turned-indifference as did the Music City Star.

Fortunately, Nashvillians do not have to weigh the benefits of forging a well-functioning mass transit system. The blessings of mass transit are a clear and present reality.

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Bring busloads of more enlightened people to Nashville. Kidding. It will take educating gas addicts, for one. Equally important, there needs to be an efficient system in place to point to. It needs to be good enough to be an example, or a model for other cities. On that note, what is a comparable city to Nashville that has an exemplary transit system? I would use the bus or any other public transit if it were convenient, reliable and cost effective. Nashville is missing the convenience factor. There's are two bus stops in eyesight of my home, but from what I've heard it would pretty much consume several hours [more than driving myself] to ride to Green Hills or West End from downtown.

With respect, you contradict yourself here. You say we need busloads of enlightened people, yet you show that you have not enlightened yourself when you say "from what i've heard". If indeed you can see two bus-stops from you home, and as you state, you must live downtown. So i encourage you to go here. (MTA website) You will see that travel times to Green Hills or West End are both under 30 mins.

I will not argue that our transit system needs vast improvement. I second that the recent service cuts are absurd! However, the fact of the matter is that the system will never work until people decide to give it a shot. Whether they chose to, or are forced to for monetary reasons, people must try it before they decide to take-or-leave.

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Yowzers! I saw on the news tonight that they're forcasting oil prices to reach $200 a barrel -or $7-10/gallon within 3 years! Europe is already paying $9/gallon right now. If that doesn't bring mta ridership up I don't know what will. I for one, will be riding it no matter what the travel time is on a bus. As a poor, fresh out of college kid, I simply can't afford to pay that much for gasoline. I'm starting to see why only the rich own cars in Tokyo. This gas epidemic could be a blessing in disguise...

If ridership skyrockets (and with those prices, it probably will) it will be a golden opportunity for mta to secure funding. If anyone from Nashville mta is reading this, make it happen!! I would like one order of light rail with a side order of BRT please.

(think they heard me? lol)

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The thing is, ridership is going up, in record numbers - due mainly to gas prices. Sure, the Metro budget is tight, but this is the perfect time for the city to promote the MTA, expand service and really do some good. And these cuts come just in time for Music City Central to open. How sad is it to open a $53 million facility and still be struggling for basic operating funds?

I've taken the #1 Vine Hill route pretty much daily for seven years now, and it's about to be cut. I've been happily living without a car all this time, but I suppose that will have to change soon. There are other people along the route who I suspect won't be able to afford a car as easily.

If any of you here are concerned about all this, I encourage you to make a little noise with your choice of local government representatives, and show up at one or more of the MTA public hearings next week. Times and locations are on the MTA web site.

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Yowzers! I saw on the news tonight that they're forcasting oil prices to reach $200 a barrel -or $7-10/gallon within 3 years! Europe is already paying $9/gallon right now. If that doesn't bring mta ridership up I don't know what will. I for one, will be riding it no matter what the travel time is on a bus. As a poor, fresh out of college kid, I simply can't afford to pay that much for gasoline. I'm starting to see why only the rich own cars in Tokyo. This gas epidemic could be a blessing in disguise...

If ridership skyrockets (and with those prices, it probably will) it will be a golden opportunity for mta to secure funding. If anyone from Nashville mta is reading this, make it happen!! I would like one order of light rail with a side order of BRT please.

(think they heard me? lol)

I doubt we will ever see gas prices under $3 again. Call me crazy.

If that ends up being true, then maybe reality will sink in for the general public and there will be a change in mindset. Either that, or people will just get used to paying $3+ and keep buying SUV's the size of buses.

Also, it would be nice to see some green buses replace the ones we have now sometime in the near future. I think Chattanooga already has some electric shuttles or buses. Really, there is no excuse for them to be ahead of us on things like this. Kudos to them.

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In the U.S., automobiles and a warped sense of community are like heroine. Fortunately, while the known methods for breaking such habits (e.g. a highly efficient mass transit system, pleasing communal spaces, and sidewalks everywhere people live, work, and play) may be just as addictive, they carry no lethal side effects and may even improve the health of addicts.

:rolleyes:

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Getting people out of their cars is going to be a very difficult thing to do... especially around here!

Consider this... even at $4/gallon, I can drive to work for about $1 in gas... whereas riding the bus would cost me $1.35 plus a 5 minute walk to the bus stop, possibly a 5-10 min wait on the bus, and the trip would take twice as long to get there.

Unfortunately, the convenience factor plays a huge role here for most people... but it doesnt help that a 5 mile bus ride actually costs more (or at least close to the same) than it would to drive.

This local transit service is something that needs to be addressed, badly... but also shows how important regional transit is in this whole equation. That's where the consumers can really notice a change in their pocketbook.

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Getting people out of their cars is going to be a very difficult thing to do... especially around here!

Consider this... even at $4/gallon, I can drive to work for about $1 in gas... whereas riding the bus would cost me $1.35 plus a 5 minute walk to the bus stop, possibly a 5-10 min wait on the bus, and the trip would take twice as long to get there.

Unfortunately, the convenience factor plays a huge role here for most people... but it doesnt help that a 5 mile bus ride actually costs more (or at least close to the same) than it would to drive.

This local transit service is something that needs to be addressed, badly... but also shows how important regional transit is in this whole equation. That's where the consumers can really notice a change in their pocketbook.

is this number factoring in a one time ride or a monthly pass?

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Good point. The 30 day pass is 65.00 for unlimited rides for a month. Let's do a bit of math here.

Let's say that it costs someone 40.00 to fill up the tank now and that gas lasts for about two weeks (not likely but possible). They would spend 80.00 a month -or about 2.85 a day. The bus would save about 1.50 a day for a net savings of 15.00.

Now let's just pretend that gas does go up to 7.00. That same person will be spending about 80.00 to fill up the tank. Bus would save 30.00 a month or 3 a day.

10.00 would cost 114.00 to fill up. Bus would save about 50 bucks a month or 5 bucks a day.

Now realisticly that tank of gas probably doesnt last 2 full weeks... Especially for the longer commutes but you also aren't paying quite 40.00 yet (my corolla costs 33 to fill).

What we have to do is whey the extra money against the convience factor. People are more than willing to pay an extra buck-fifty to stay in their cars. An extra 5 bucks a day will probably get a whole lot more people out, but still not everyone. Plus, who knows if that 30 day pass will stay 65.00 in the next 3 years.

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I was watching the NBA playoffs, and Salt Lake City has some sort of light rail system in their downtown. I don't know much about Salt Lake City, but if they have one, I'm sure Nashville can too. We could learn from them and try to develop one.

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is this number factoring in a one time ride or a monthly pass?

My number was based on a one time ride ($1.35 right now, soon to go up I believe).

There's really 2 points I wanted to make though:

1. The current system seems mostly geared towards regional transit (trips greater than 5-10 miles)

2. Local transit needs improvement (trips less than 5-10 miles)

Even if you get the $65 monthly pass, using it only for 40 trips per month (non-express), would actually be more expensive than purchasing one time passes. Seems like the monthly unlimited deal is only useful for express routes, or for using the bus for more than traveling to/from work.

In my case, my work is only 5 miles from my apartment.. so one trip driving costs me roughly $1 in gas, about $40 per month in gas. Whereas $1.35 x 40 trips on a bus = $54 per month. Add to that the convenience factors involved, and it becomes not so beneficial for local usage.

And forget about using the current bus transit to get from one area of downtown/midtown to another.. walking is usually faster.

Don't get me wrong, though... I would gladly use the bus (or rail!) if my work allowed it (I have to be able to drive between offices), and if it were more convenient and cost effective for local usage.

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The Civic Design Center is hosting a workshop soon [maybe this week] on bringing streetcars back to Nashville. I'd post a link but I don't find the info on their website.

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The Civic Design Center is hosting a workshop soon [maybe this week] on bringing streetcars back to Nashville. I'd post a link but I don't find the info on their website.

That would be great! Is this really a possibility? Or just pie in the sky..

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Here is what was posted on the NC.

A Special Workshop Presentation

at the Nashville Civic Design Center

in Cooperation with

The Regional Transit Authority

Franklin Conaway:

Making the Case for a Return of Streetcars in Nashville

Wednesday, May 7th at 5:15 p.m.

138 Second Avenue North Suite 106

edit: Also found this cool link on the NC as well:

http://downtowncolumbus.com/publications/P...resentation.pdf

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NC? (Sorry, new here :) )

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