Mass Transit Opponents Draft Open Letter to Mayor Megan Barry Asking Her to Reconsider Plan

Tennessee Star


Tea Party activist Ben Cunningham is leading an effort to collect signatures for an open letter to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry asking her to reconsider a proposed $6 billion regional mass transit plan.

The letter asks Barry to move the Nashville area “forward toward 21st century transit technologies and away from obsolete, extremely costly commuter railroads which will burden Nashville taxpayers for decades. Riders nationwide are abandoning these out-dated commuter railroads because so many new transit technologies offer so much more.”

The tentative mass transit plan for Middle Tennessee, designed to be phased in over 25 years, calls for light rail along Gallatin Pike, Charlotte Pike, Murfreesboro Pike and Nolensville Pike, and for light rail connecting Nashville and Clarksville, as well as for rapid buses.

Barry is committed to putting a referendum on the ballot next year to raise taxes for mass transit, and pro-transit groups are stepping up efforts to win over the public. However, Cunningham is advocating for a referendum that would limit Metro Nashville’s debt level, which could impede the mass transit project.

The open letter to Barry says:

Transit technology is undergoing an amazing revolution. Riders are demanding solutions that deliver more privacy, more safety, and more convenience. And that is precisely why ridership on traditional commuter railroad is declining nationwide. In fact ridership on buses and all other modes of old fashioned transit is also declining.

Studies indicate Uber and Lyft are already drawing away a substantial and increasing share of transit riders. And new services like Lyft Shuttle and UberPOOL and Via and Chariot will expand the menu of transit options available. And within a few years self-driving cars and shuttles will deliver even more transit options. Also, technologies such as 5g data networks will be deployed within two years and will make work-at-home telecommuting even more efficient.

The letter goes on to say that Nashvillians “no matter their income or location, want the safety, convenience and security of door to door transit” and that Nashville, now an “it” city, should endorse an “efficient, modern approach.” It also asks Barry to negotiate with companies that have received taxpayer-funded incentives to move downtown to offer more options to work from home and also staggered start times.

To see the entire letter, click here.



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5 Thoughts to “Mass Transit Opponents Draft Open Letter to Mayor Megan Barry Asking Her to Reconsider Plan”

  1. If Nashville will pass the Solar Mobility Act, JPods will privately fund building networks to solve Nashville traffic problems. I spoke with the city about this several times of the past 15 years.

    The Solar Mobility Act is a simple one-page law that states:
    – Build with private capital.
    – Operate without government subsidies.
    – Exceed 5 times the efficiency of roads.
    – Exceed the safety of roads.
    – Pay 5% of gross revenues for access to Rights of Way.
    – Regulate by ASTM F24 theme park standards. Note ASTM F24 has a safety record of 4.5 injuries per million versus DOT’s 106 deaths per million.

  2. Molley.Carter

    It is a shame that all she thinks about is spending money! She should be retired, living on a fixed income and be told you are going to have to spend more money on a system you will never use! Disgusting! Will move out of the county before we will pay more!

  3. Wolf Woman

    But Ben, where would the mayor be without a 6 billion dollar pile of our tax money to play with and use as crony capital for her progressive Democrat party allies in the construction business? And what about the jobs she’ll create like a Comrade-in-charge of Diversity and Illegal Alien Resettlement for Train Track workers?

    “Progressive”, an old name for the Chicago school of socialists, are caught in a 19th century Marxist dialectic which keeps them from original thoughts like the ones Ben Cunningham has. Progressive is a misnomer. They should be called Regressives.

  4. lb

    Signed and glad to see Ben Cunningham lead the fight on this issue. This is Atlanta ALL over again. We lived there when the MARTA debate was ongoing and it has never EVER paid for itself and still a burden on the metro ATL taxpayers because the surrounding counties refused to help fund it. It stopped at their county borders so they just set up parking lots and buses for ride sharing which costs a LOT less. People drive to the lots at the county line, pay a fraction of what they would to park in town, get on the train and do whatever they want then get on the train, ride back to the county line and drive home. That same thing will happen here and metro Nashville will be paying for this boondoggle forever and a day

  5. Bob

    She could care less about travel or commute in Nashville. It’s all about raising taxes!