Monday, Vanderbilt University issued a strong statement of support – along with a 501(c) (4) PAC called ‘Creating a More Mobile Community’ funded to the tune of $200,000 – for Mayor Megan Barry’s
$5.2 $5.4 $9 billion transit plan proposal.
“We must match our collective ambitions for the future of Nashville with investments in our future prosperity,” said Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said is a statement. “A more connected Nashville through expanded transit benefits us all. Now is the time to ensure all members of the Nashville community have full access to the opportunities our vibrant city has to offer.”
The statement points out that the University has recently begun its transformation of West End Avenue to what it calls FutureVU, described as a “innovative academic and experiential center.”
Vanderbilt University Medical Center president Jeff Balser also voiced the institution’s strong support for “Mayor Megan Barry’s efforts to expand Nashville’s transit options.”
“The development of sustainable, flexible transportation options that promote a healthy, accessible environment for all is a centerpiece of our land use planning efforts,” Zeppos said. “When taken together, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are the region’s largest private employer. As such, we have an obligation, but also a tremendous opportunity, to have a positive impact on transportation in Nashville. The time to act, for all of us, is now.”
The Tennessean reports that Vanderbilt’s full-throated endorsement of the transit plan is unsurprising “given that it is among more than 100 organizations that have signed on to the Transit for Nashville Coalition.”
The PAC, which The Tennessean reports has ties to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, says they raised more than $1.3 million last week that they will use to fund campaign efforts to support Mayor Barry’s transit proposal.