New Nashville bus service links Davidson to nearby counties

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 7:26pm
Staff reports

The Regional Transportation Authority plans to expand its regional bus network next month with the addition of two new bus routes that will serve residents living in Williamson and other nearby counties.

Both routes go into effect on Dec. 1 and are being funded with federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The routes from Nashville to the Franklin/Brentwood and Thompson’s Station/Spring Hill areas will operate during rush hour.

Customers riding these new routes will be able to use their commute time for work or leisure, save money on gas, and help the environment by reducing traffic congestion and auto emissions.

 “This new express regional bus service will be a great benefit for the commuters of Williamson County. With the expansive growth in our area, this type of commuter service could help ease some of the transportation issues along the Interstate 65 corridor. There has been a growing need for this type of service; the ARRA funds are enabling the project to become a reality,” said RTA Board Chair and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson.

The service will be provided through an RTA contract with Gray Line. Buses for the routes are equipped with restrooms and televisions, and can accommodate up to 56 passengers. Cost is $3.50 per ride or $60 for a 20-Ride pass.

Route 91X Franklin/Brentwood Express runs from Franklin to downtown Nashville with two trips to downtown in the morning and two trips in the afternoon. 

The first trip departs from the Williamson Square Kroger at 6:30 a.m., with the second bus leaving at 7 a.m. Buses stop at the Cool Springs Lowe’s 6:40 and 7:10 a.m. and Brentwood Baptist Church at 6:52 and 7:22 a.m. before arriving downtown at 7:20 and 7:50 a.m.

Afternoon trips depart from Nashville MTA’s Music City Central (MCC), Bay 11; at 4:20 and 4:45 p.m. Customers will arrive at Brentwood Baptist Church at 4:44 and 5:09 p.m., at the Lowe’s at 4:57 and 5:22 p.m., and at the Williamson Square Kroger at 5:07 and 5:32 p.m.

Route 95X Spring Hill runs from Spring Hill to downtown Nashville. It departs from the Kroger on Port Royal at 6:25 a.m., stops at Thompson’s Station Baptist Church at 6:36 a.m. and arrives downtown at 7:20 a.m. The return trip in the afternoon departs MCC at 4:10 p.m., Thompson’s Station Baptist Church at 4:57 p.m. and the Spring Hill Kroger at 5:13 p.m.

5 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 11/19/09 at 8:39

Excellent! This is the kind of mass transit we need. More buses, more often on more routes.

By: JeffF on 11/19/09 at 9:14

More bus service yes, but this system was designed by people who ride the short bus. The hours are way out of whack and it still requires each and every person to enter the system miles away from most of the workplaces in Nashville. This will work for the 3 or 4 people who live in Franklin and Brentwood that work in downtown from the hours of 8:00 to 3:45. If they work the standard 8-5 or 7-4 this system will not accommodate them. If they work in the thousands of places not in downtown that would require a transfer this will not work for them. Who thought it was a good idea to have both buses out leaving out before 5:00?

I am a big fan of mass transit via buses instead of trains. But this setup has the appearance of a predesignated failure. Is the regional transit authority thinking that they can get real "train money" by making the buses appear bad?

I will note that it is apparently okay to have bus routes begin or end in areas outside of downtown Franklin, but no one would ever believe in doing that here in Nashville. Downtown renewal is the stone that weights down public transit.

Do the buses, schedule them intelligently. Reap the benefits.

By: Magnum on 11/19/09 at 11:27

Jeff, you hit the nail on the head. While I think the train is a huge waste of money, when gas went to $4.00/gallon, I saw selfish opportunity. The only issue of course was that I didn't work down town and that the latest train departure was 5:45PM. Working a standard day and sometimes even longer, I could never come up with a solution that got me to the riverfront station in time. After calling and emailing the MTA (before mgt. moved to the RTA), I realized that there was no hope. Over a year ago, they mentioned that they were looking into putting express buses into other areas where large segments of Nashville's workforce was located. Of course, I just checked and nothing has changed in over a year. The train schedule is the same and the express bus routes they told me were in consideration have not been added or even mentioned on the website.

One more note, there was one bus that I could take to make it to the train station; however, it arrived at the main bus terminal one minute before the train left for its final departure. So once at the main bus terminal, one would have to hump it to the riverfront. God forbid the weather be bad or the bus have a delay due to congestion. The MTA's solution...the bus driver can call and have the train wait on you. Well as you might imagine, I've been driving in ever since.

Good luck to all those looking to find public transportation (including me), but like Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid".

By: idgaf on 11/19/09 at 11:30

I can understand the Cool springs stop but not the brentwood one.

In fact on surface it may make more sense to just run Cool-Springs to nashville non stop.

The price is reasonable (cheaper then the star) and could take off.

I would like to see the details of the contract. When the grant runs out (which I don't approve of to begin with) the service should be discontinued if it is not paying for itself or put out for bid if it is. (to private companys)

By: idgaf on 11/19/09 at 12:12

No stops for the Spring Hill route?

On face it would have more chance for sucess if they ran 4 Buses from Spring Hill to Cool-Springs then to Nashville which would cover 2 hours rather then 1 in each direction.

What will make the routes successful is speed, conveinance and cost advantages.