MTA board approves BRT lite on Murfreesboro Pike

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:19pm

The Nashville Metro Transit Authority’s Board of Directors has approved a new Bus Rapid Transit lite route along Murfreesboro Pike, the agency announced Thursday.

The service, similar to one already in place on Gallatin Pike in East Nashville, is set to begin on Monday, April 1. It will provide “more frequent and expanded services between the Nashville airport and downtown hotels, according to an MTA release.

The agency also announced routing changes to serve the new Music City Center set to open in May.

“The expanded airport service and other improvements are positive steps forward in the evolution of public transit in this city and the region,” MTA Board chair Thomas F. “Freddie” O’Connell said. “After a successful pilot of a lightweight Bus Rapid Transit service on Gallatin Pike, we have been able to add a similar service along the busy Murfreesboro Pike corridor. And with the improved airport service, visitors will not only have easier access to downtown, people who work downtown and our growing number of downtown residents will now have easier access to the airport.”

Expanded airport service will include early morning and evening trips on Route 18, the agency said.

The new BRT lite service on Murfreesboro Pike will offer more frequent service and fewer stops, with buses running every 15 minutes until 6:15 p.m. on weekdays, and every 30 minutes after 6:15 p.m. On Saturdays, buses will run every 30 minutes.

8 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 3/1/13 at 9:08

hub and spoke continues.

By: MusicCity615 on 3/1/13 at 10:33

People and businesses across America, including Nashvillians and Nashville businesses, are moving back into the city's core. Why, it just makes sense to be centralized versus urban sprawl. Nashville is taking the right approach by investing in mass transit, yet we are far, far behind.

JeffF I will agree not everything should be directed to downtown (ie people need to move from Green Hills to Bellevue, etc.), but you do not neglect downtown either.

By: JeffF on 3/1/13 at 5:22

I do not think neglect of downtown is going to be a problem when it comes to essential government services like transportation and infrastructure. That little neighborhood with almost 0% (rounding) of the city's population gets its disproportionate share of spending and attention. It doesn't even pull in the most sales tax, property tax, hotel tax, and employment when ranked against other Metro hoods.

Southwest Airlines and the public transportation systems in the major world series have proven hub-and-spoke is inefficient, costly, and unliked. but like most second, third, and fourth tier cities in the U.S. public transit is more about urban renewal then public service.

And about that moving back to downtown movement:

A movement is not a movement if the people move out as soon as they start breeding.

Odd, if people are moving back to the core, how does a transportation plan moving people along a spoke to downtown and back home to the burbs fit into that people are moving to the core postulate?

By: catenarykat on 3/2/13 at 10:48

Hub and spoke? Well, yes, but also consider:
--The new University Connector, which runs from around TSU, across West End, past Lipscomb, and over to Green Hills, connecting six universities and 10 "spoke" routes, all without going downtown.
--The Madison Connector, which connects with the 56 Gallatin BRT Lite, without going downtown.
--The Edmondson Connector, which circulates around both sides of Nolensville Rd, south of the Zoo, without going downtown.
--The Midtown Connector, a circumferential route which connects all the "spokes" from Lebanon Rd to North Nashville,
--The Antioch Bus Link,serving neighborhoods off Murfreesboro Rd, without going downtown.
Except for the Midtown, these were all established within the last two years. Apparently, MTA has seen some merits to your points, Jeff. Or maybe they just know what they're doing, and they make improvements as the system can support them.

By: JeffF on 3/4/13 at 7:44

Did you notice none of the routes you mention connect the major neighborhood to each other? They are circulators designed to serve a tight area or get people to a spoke. During the Olympics news leaders were commenting that or transportation system did not match up with those in the rest of the world because of its dependence on a hub, double trouble for having that hub on a lightly populated part of time. A Midtown connector would make more sense if it were pushed 5 miles out.

By: RWinLA on 3/4/13 at 9:00

MTA needs to address the needs of the city's poorer communities. No word on how individuals in north Nashville can get to potential job sites downtown, airport, Opryland, West End or Centennial Park.

If public transportation dollars are going to be spent exclusively in an effort to get commuters out of their vehicles there has to be an effort at the same time to enhance the transportation options for individuals without personal transportation also.

By: catenarykat on 3/4/13 at 10:36

I agree with you, JeffF, that we can aspire to something other than a hub and spoke system, but Nashville's layout makes anything else difficult and costly. Public transit requires infrastructure to support it. You need sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian-friendly streets where you have transfer points. You can't just set people out in mudholes. Even if you pave over the mudhole, can they walk, etc to where they need to go from there? A grid is impossible in Nashville, because the streeets are not on grids, and they can't directly connect every neighborhhod with each other--but isn't that what a spoke eventually does, anyhow?

Look at the 28th/31st connector. MTA put service there (connecting north Nashville to West End and Green Hills; TSU to Vanderbilt and Belmont, by the way, RWinLA) as soon as that bridge was built and opened. It crosses several bus routes and will connect directly to the new BRT.

RWinLA, transit in Nashville has traditionally served the poorest communities most heavily. It continues to do so, for that is much of the core ridership and always has been. Again, I point to the new University Connector, both the bridge and the transit service across it, uniting north Nashville with West End and Green Hills and the proposed BRT. If you haven't tried that route yet, you should, and you'll see what I mean.

One of the problems with transit's image is that transit is considered to be only for people without other means of transportation.

I know that because I ride the bus and love it. You really should try it!

By: catenarykat on 3/4/13 at 11:11

Oh, and note how one of the previous posts wants to know how north Nashville can connect to potential job sites downtown, while another of the posts has a problem with too many routes going downtown.
How on earth are they supposed to win?
RWinLA, please at least look at a system map, whether or not you ride the bus. Then you'd see how these areas are being served.