Is Effective Transit Possible in a Transit-Hostile City?

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» Despite the sound intentions from the mayor, opposition may kill Nashville’s BRT project.

One of the primary arguments made for investing in bus rapid transit (BRT) is that such systems can be implemented not only more cheaply, but also with more ease, than rail lines.

A look at the situation in Nashville suggests that there are limitations to that “ease.”

Much like in cities across the country, residents of Nashville have strenuously debated the merits of investing in a 7.1-mile, $174 million BRT line called the Amp. The project would link the city’s east and west sides, running from the Five Points in East Nashville through downtown to St. Thomas Hospital, past the city’s West End. With dedicated lanes along 80% of its route, frequent service, pre-paid boarding, level platforms, transit signal priority, and an improved streetscape to boot, the line could potentially serve about 5,000 rides a day, double the

Continue reading Is Effective Transit Possible in a Transit-Hostile City? »

Nashville Considers Light Rail, but the City's Unfit for It

» Is Nashville advancing a rail system that it cannot handle?

From time to time, it’s worth taking a step back.

The Nashville region’s bus network is not exactly popular, with a total annual ridership of just less than nine million; that’s about 30,000 weekday trips in a metropolitan area of 1.6 million people. The 32-mile Music City Star commuter rail line, which has operated between downtown Nashville and Lebanon since 2006, handles about 800 daily trips — compared to the 1,500 originally expected for the corridor.

Public transportation in Middle Tennessee, in other words, is not big business.

No surprise, perhaps, considering that the City of Nashville has a density of 1,230 people per square mile. By comparison, Portland, Oregon has a concentration population roughly four times as intense. New York City, at the extreme, is 22

Continue reading Nashville Considers Light Rail, but the City’s Unfit for It »

The Site / The Fight

by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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