The city highways and main streets have become uncomfortably overcrowded in the past few years and it’s certainly not because Nashville residents are in love with driving. The fact of the matter is that Nashville just does not have a working, convenient public transportation system, and if the city makes some changes, it would likely reduce the number of car accidents.
There are fundamental issues with the Metro Transportation Authority (MTA). If you glanced at the MTA map, most see the walk to the nearest bus stop is at least 30 minutes. Moreover, most buses only run once per hour and require specific scheduling to plan around. It is well known the system is flawed, but a journalist at The Tennessean made some suggestions that go beyond these issues and (if ever implemented) may help Nashville out of this jam.
HOW CAN WE MAKE THE MTA APPEALING TO NASHVILLE RESIDENTS?
The first thought for consideration is the fact there’s an app for everything, unless you’re referring to the MTA. In theory, a user-friendly app that showed the GPS on buses could allow passengers to track their bus in real-time and schedule appropriately. Additionally, the city could appeal to its 9-to-5 commuters if WiFi was installed on the buses. Nashville is becoming a hub for technology, and the MTA should get on board with this.
As trivial as it seems, branding may actually help. Given that this is Music City, The Tennessean suggested the idea of branding different routes. For example, the “Honkey Tonk” line to lower Broad or the “Johnny Cash” line to Hendersonville. Or perhaps buses could have sponsors, rather than the textbook advertisements.
And of course, there’s the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal, which most residents agree would be the most economical way to increase the volume of 9-to-5 commuters who travel by bus, and subsequently decrease the volume of vehicles on the highways during major traffic times.
NASHVILLE STILL SEARCHING FOR A TRANSIT SOLUTION
The goals for improving Nashville’s transit are pretty straightforward. All the city needs is a little TLC. Okay, maybe it also needs traffic alleviation, redevelopment of infrastructure, both of which must impact the economy in a positive manner. Moreover, it wouldn’t hurt if the transportation system became regional and connected all the surrounding neighborhoods to major destinations, such as the airports, medical facilities, college universities, major office buildings and (of course) popular venues for entertainment. That’s not too much to ask, right?
Nashville MTA is hosting a public input meeting Tuesday, April 7 to allow residents to put forward ideas for MTA improvement.
Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury attorney who assists accident victims in Nashville.
“My heart is steadfast, God. I will sing and I will make music with my soul.” Psalms 108:1