Gov. Haslam's plan would allow local referendums for transit funding

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The Tennessee Transit Coalition, which organized this year to lobby the state for transit funding, applauded Haslam's local option transit proposal but also noted that raising revenue locally isn't viable in many rural counties.

"We would like to see the state invest the necessary resources to improve public transportation statewide," said Jason Spain, executive director of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association, one of seven members of the coalition. "Public transit is a growing choice in our state; but it is also a necessity for many Tennesseans in both our rural and urban areas who rely on it for access to jobs, schools and everyday services like medical appointments.”

Read more from the Tennessean here.

Mass transit has mass appeal for Tennessee

Friday, January 13, 2017

Advocates for public transportation are urging Gov. Bill Haslam to make public transportation funding a part of his infrastructure plan this year. "Roads and bridges are obviously critically important,” says Jason Spain, executive director of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association. “If we're talking about a comprehensive look at our infrastructure system in Tennessee, it has to include public transportation. 

This month the Tennessee Transit Coalition – comprised of Spain's group, as well as AARP and the Tennessee Disability Coalition and others – delivered 1,000 signatures from 60 counties to the governor's desk, letting him know that public transportation is a priority for their communities.

Read more here.

Poll: Tennesseans are willing to pay at the pump for transit

Friday, January 06, 2017

It's no secret that Gov. Bill Haslam is planning on introducing legislation that will increase the state's gas tax to help shed some of Tennessee's $8 billion back log in transportation funding.  But a better-kept secret is what Tennessee voters think money raised from an increased gas tax should actually go to, and what voters think the state should spend that money on will go to the hearts of almost all Middle Tennesseans — transit.  

If the gas tax is increased, 57 percent of respondents support increased funding for biking, walking and transit, according to a poll conducted by the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. 

More from the Nashville Business Journal here.

Rep. Clemmons proposes infrastructure plan with funding for transit

Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Democratic state Rep. John Clemmons of Nashville has gotten ahead of Gov. Bill Haslam gotten ahead of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in proposing a plan for raising Tennessee’s fuel taxes, reports the Nashville Post. His draft legislation includes a new stream of revenue for mass transit – something he thinks Haslam will omit.

Haslam, of course, has been pitching the general idea of revenue enhancement to build and better maintain roads for two years and is expected to finally roll out a proposal by Jan. 30.

Click here for more.

New Park and Ride facility opens in Clarksville

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
More parking spots, well-lit area, easy access to the interstate, shelter to protect from rain are some of the key highlights of the new park and ride facility off Exit 11.

TDOT Commissioner Joe Schroer, city mayor and RTA board chairman Kim McMillan and RTA CEO Steve Bland were among the chief dignitaries present at the opening ceremony.

Read more here.

Murfreesboro "Rover" public transportation system surpasses 2 million mark in ridership

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rover, the City of Murfreesboro’s public transportation system, recently surpassed a significant milestone—the 2 million mark in ridership. Rover officially began service in April 2007.

“While the names and faces have changed over the past decade, Rover continues to provide excellent customer service,” said Assistant Transpiration Director Nellie Patton. “Thanks to all the staff, management, and patrons for continuing to utilize and support Rover as we anticipate serving our next million riders.”

For more information, click here.

nMotion transit plan for Nashville and Middle Tennessee region unveiled

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This morning before a joint board meeting of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA), Nashville MTA and RTA CEO Steve Bland presented draft findings of the comprehensive 25-year plan designed to meet Nashville and the region’s vision for transit. The nMotion plan includes input from more than 18,000 area citizens and reflects the work completed under other efforts including NashvilleNext and the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Regional Transit Vision.  The release of the nMotion Strategic Plan begins a 30-day public review period, after which the plan will be back before the MTA and RTA boards for approval in September.

Click here for documents related to today's announcement, including a 4-page transit plan summary, the final Community Engagement Report, a press release announcing the plan's recommendations and the nMotion draft transit plan recommendations.

Transportation officials adopt $8.5 billion, 25-year plan

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Regional elected and transportation officials adopted a 25-year transportation plan, Middle Tennessee Connected, that's expected to cost $8.5 billion to cover infrastructure costs.

The 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan, developed by county governments, transit groups and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, applies to seven Middle Tennessee counties.

“It is not only exciting but encouraging to see that mayors and county executives from around the region understand the important role of transit as part of our transportation network, but they are actively supporting increased investment to execute the vision for mass transit," said Steve Bland, Nashville MTA CEO.

Read the full story here.

Lawmakers eye private sector boost for regional transit

Thursday, February 04, 2016
With multiple Middle Tennessee mayors on hand, state lawmakers rolled out legislation Wednesday they say could set a framework for future mass transit projects in the Nashville region and send a signal to the private sector to be part of it.

The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, would allow both the state and local governments to contract private businesses to build, oversee and profit from large-scale transit projects in Tennessee.

It’s only enabling legislation, but with mass transit solutions proving elusive in Nashville, the public-private partnership proposal is getting billed as a way for the state legislature to take a step toward addressing the region’s growing traffic congestion.

Read more from the Tennessean here.

State could be key for Nashville regional transit hopes

Sunday, January 31, 2016
Two years after the Tennessee legislature helped derail Nashville’s proposal for a bus rapid transit line called the Amp, the future of mass transit in Middle Tennessee is again getting attention at the state level.

But this time, early signs indicate the state could help facilitate Metro's next transit endeavor. That outlook is strengthened by unprompted remarks last week by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who said the state needs to be involved in regional mass transit efforts in the Nashville area.

Read more from Joey Garrison's column here.