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Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Calls Passage of Gas Tax Hike ‘A Momentous Day in Tennessee,’ Looks Ahead to Mass Transit Plan

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Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has been cheering Gov. Haslam’s gas tax hike for road improvements, while keeping an eye ahead toward implementing a $6 billion transit plan.

Barry pushed for Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, which includes the gas tax hike, in the hours leading up to Wednesday’s action on the bill. The bill passed in both the House and Senate.

After the bill passed, Barry celebrated with this tweet:

“Our most immediate need is funding,” said Barry, a Democrat, earlier this month in an interview with WSMV Channel 4.

The $6 billion transit plan, known as nMotion, was adopted last year by the board of directors of the Regional Transportation Authority. The RTA is made up of Middle Tennessee mayors and Haslam appointees. Their endorsement is nonbinding but gives the plan momentum. The proposal calls for the project to be phased in over 25 years. Funding sources are still on the drawing board but would likely include tax increases.

If former mayor Karl Dean’s failed 2014 Amp rapid bus plan is any indication, Middle Tennesseans could be in for a protracted battle over the details as well as the costs of the large-scale nMotion transit proposal. AMP opponents fought hard for its defeat, deeming it an ill-conceived plan that would attract few new bus riders and would worsen traffic. The seven-mile bus route would have linked East Nashville to downtown to West End Avenue.

Nashville continues to boom, with 100 people moving to the area every day.

The nMotion transit plan includes a light rail system, rapid buses and more pedestrian walkways. The light rail is tentatively set to run along four corridors, including Gallatin Pike, Murfreesboro Pike, Nolensville Pike and Charlotte Pike. In addition, the plan includes a commuter rail connecting Nashville and Clarksville and buses commuting from Smyrna and Dickson.

“I think at the end of the day, a successful city has lots of ways to get around, not just one,” Barry told WSMV.

Barry said the current bus system is problematic because the buses don’t run enough hours.

To make some headway on easing traffic snarls, the city has synced 500-plus lights so that drivers see more green, Barry said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Calls Passage of Gas Tax Hike ‘A Momentous Day in Tennessee,’ Looks Ahead to Mass Transit Plan

  1. Wasted Funds

    Trace the money carefully. Your tax dollars will pay for pay increases.

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