Some Nashville Entrepreneurs Question Mayor Megan Barry’s Mass Transit Plan


While a number of Nashville entrepreneurs support Mayor Megan Barry’s $5.2 billion mass transit plan, some are saying the proposal is outdated for the needs of today.

The Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization has surveyed members on the proposal for Davidson County, reports Nashville Business Journal. Forty-four of the chapter’s more than 200 members responded.

Eighteen percent said they are “strongly against” the mass transit plan, 6 percent are “somewhat against” it and 3 percent “neither support nor oppose” the proposal. Forty-five percent “strongly support” the plan and 28 percent “somewhat support” it. However, even some in favor of the plan expressed reservations in comments.

Those opposed said new technology is consigning light rail to a thing of the past and that Nashville should be part of the latest innovation in transportation.

Other critics have voiced similar concerns, saying people today want customized door-to-door transportation offered by services such as Uber and Lyft. They say city officials need to take a closer look at those services, and at how self-driving cars could have an impact in the future, as well as how technology will soon allow even more people to work from home. Some also want the city to consider setting up express lanes with dynamic electronic toll pricing that accounts for changes in traffic patterns. Other concerns about the mass transit plan involve costs – the initial expenses as well as upkeep costs.

Critics include Vanderbilt University professor Malcolm Getz and Manhattan Institute fellow Aaron Renn. The Nashville Tea Party has also spoken out against the mass transit plan.

Mayor Barry, a progressive Democrat, unveiled her detailed plan two weeks ago. The project would include light rail, electric buses and an underground tunnel downtown, as well as improvements to existing transportation. It would be funded with a combination of federal grants, bonds, fare revenues and tax surcharges. A half percent sales tax surcharge would start in July 2018, increasing to 1 percent in 2023. There also would be surcharges on the hotel/motel tax, local rental car tax, and business and excise tax. Barry is asking Metro Council to approve a referendum for the ballot in May to put the tax hikes before voters.

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7 Thoughts to “Some Nashville Entrepreneurs Question Mayor Megan Barry’s Mass Transit Plan”

  1. Jim

    Mayor Barry is a confessed cheater already. Who gets the payoffs on this?

  2. Sim

    I hope her grandiose plan doesn’t include a “Bail out” by all Tennesseans when it fails,

    put that burden on the tax payers of Nashville and they’ll learn to be more “Selective”: in voting.

    1. Jim

      Barry’s mass transit plan with bankrupt every middle and fixed income property taxpayer in Nashville. My great grandkids will still be paying for this fiasco decades from now..

  3. Bruce

    Anybody who thinks this is about a transit system is poorly mistaken.

  4. Wolf Woman

    Mayor Moonbeam has a lot in common with her namesake in California. She’s a socialist who loves to spend money and wants to be known as the mayor who did “great things” for Nashville.

    But at this rate, with her grandiose transportation plan, her push to buy a soccer field for one of Nashville’s wealthiest men, her “affordable housing” schemes, her love of developers and her disdain for such mundane projects as infrastructure and neighborhood road maintenance, she’ll be known as the mayor who made Nashville unaffordable for the everyday person, like San Francisco is now.

    Come on people, Nashville deserves better than this.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Wolf Woman – Well said.

  5. Bruce

    Businesses are running away from Nashville seeing the upcoming tax rates.