Metro Nashville Council Signs Off on Mayor Cooper’s $1.6B Transportation Plan


The Metro Nashville Council on Tuesday voted to approve Mayor John Cooper’s $1.6 billion transportation plan.

The move will help Nashville to apply for federal grants to implement the plan, WPLN reported. Cooper wants to invest in the WeGo bus system even though ridership fell by half this year during the pandemic.

The Metro Council agenda is available here. The plan is under Resolution No. 4.

Cooper tweeted a self-congratulations on the plan’s passage and took the opportunity to give a shout-out to Pete Buttigieg, whom Joe Biden wants to serve as Transportation Secretary.

“Congratulations @PeteButtigieg! Excellent choice by President-elect Biden. Mayor Pete, we have a new transportation plan here in Nashville that is ready for federal funding”.

Councilmember Colby Sledge (District 17) has been critical of the plan.

He tweeted, “We’re passing a $1.6 billion transportation plan without ensuring that even our current @WeGoTransit funding levels are maintained next year (to say nothing of actually increasing service after raising taxes 34 percent). My attempt to give us two more meetings to discuss failed.”

Sledge also tweeted, “Two more meetings would have given us five weeks to receive more monthly revenue/expense reports and get a clearer picture on our transportation funding. Right now, we have $0 in Metro funds committed to transit. (@WeGoTransit is being funded by federal coronavirus relief funds.)

The Metro Nashville Transportation Plan is available here.

The plan says that Metro Nashville held 11 public listening sessions and spoke with “targeted stakeholders and all 40 Metro Council members.”

Metro Nashville’s Transportation Plan proposes core categories for investment that reflect our communities’ and the region’s stated priorities: Mass transit, neighborhood infrastructure (sidewalks, bikeways, greenways), a “state of good repair” for roads and bridges, traffic operations and signals, and safety/Vision Zero. Projects within the plan will be advanced via individual, opportunistic funding strategies, while more comprehensive, dedicated revenue streams—via the IMPROVE Act’s authorizing mechanism for referendums, or other available legal framework—can be pursued in a future year once America’s economy recovers from the pandemic-induced downturn. This plan offers the transportation choice and options for any post- COVID-19 scenarios that may develop.

Details include:

  • An increase in frequency and span of service for the bus system, as outlined in WeGo’s Better Bus proposal — including up to ten Neighborhood Transit Centers that would enable access to new crosstown routes;
  • 13 miles of Bus Rapid Transit on Murfreesboro Pike, from downtown to Antioch/Hickory Hollow;
  • 6.9 miles of Rapid Bus on Clarksville Pike, from downtown to Bordeaux/King’s Lane;
  • Infrastructure to support more trips and a smoother ride on the WeGo Star commuter-rail line

In July 2018, the Beacon Center of Tennessee released a suggested Nashville transportation plan in response to then-Mayor Megan Barry’s $9 billion plan that relied heavily on light rail. The Beacon Center’s plan included:

  • Build an adaptive traffic control system (ATCS) that enables traffic signals to immediately respond to traffic demand in real time.
  • Eliminate government bans on private transportation companies’ ability to compete and innovate, particularly shuttle companies.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of existing bus routes, and outsource service to lower demand areas and routes to private ride-sharing companies.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Mayor John Cooper” by







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7 Thoughts to “Metro Nashville Council Signs Off on Mayor Cooper’s $1.6B Transportation Plan”

  1. Tim Price

    God forbid that Tennessee gets a Democratic Governor. Then Memphis and Nashville will get all the tax dollars while the rest of the state gets to pay taxes so that Nashville and Memphis can spend it all.

  2. LB

    The goal is to bankrupt the city… which is AGENDA 21. Davidson County did not show up and vote for a conservative mayor 2 years ago. Things would have been very different had they engaged. We have what we have because there is no passion or participation from the people.
    The question is, now what? Its now time for the cities surrounding Nashville to unify and plan for the next election.

  3. 83ragtop50

    The only reason this passed was because Cooper and his lunatic council stuck us with a 34% tax hike then told everyone that this scam did not include any tax hike. Does anyone wonder why hardworking citizens despise the likes of Cooper? And I bet a dime to a dollar that taxes DO increase because of this obscene boondoggle.

  4. Beatrice Shaw

    Smart man-smart plan! Don’t use our money so much as the state’s and the federal government’s!! We need more value like this!

  5. Julie

    Of course the left-leaning council did, this is the spend part of tax and spend. Silly Colby Sledge wants to wait for actual money and to analyze details. It looks like Cooper is hoping his buddy Buttigieg will provide some federal cashflow. Actually if Biden takes office we may get this funded at 100% federal dollars. After all we will be printing money 24/7, what is a billion or two among political friends?

  6. Kevin

    Here we go again! Another leftist boondoggle looking to further encase the working class folk and and future citizens of Nashville with more debt! Oh, but don’t worry, Mini Coop will promise “free” ride “tokens”.

    It does however seem somehow perversely fitting that with this announcement Coop calls out Mayor Pete as Biden’s pick for Transportation. I won’t elaborate as to why.

  7. Gordon Shumway

    nashville is broke but wasting 1.6 to not improve traffic. good work, coop.