NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In North Nashville, a free transit option has been made available along historic Jefferson Street as access was granted to the Music City Circuit.
Officials said the route was formerly operating exclusively in the downtown footprint; however; on Friday, the Nashville MTA partnered with Mayor Megan Barry and the Metro Council as they celebrated the new route at Gateway to Heritage Plaza on Jefferson Street and 26th Avenue.
At the event, officials said the new route brought opportunities and “affordable and environmentally-friendly service with increased frequency to serve the North Nashville community.”
The new Music City Circuit service along Jefferson Street began Sunday, October 1.
Officials said that route extended service to John Merritt and 33rd Avenue by Tennessee State University from Bicentennial Mall and the Nashville Farmer’s Market. The route runs via 5th Avenue and Jefferson Street.
“As Nashville grows, it’s important that we create as much connectivity as possible so that residents and visitors can move back and forth from one vibrant neighborhood to another. When we can make it so people can do that for free, that’s even better,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “The extension of the Music City Circuit will connect TSU to Downtown while promoting economic activity and tourism along the historic Jefferson Street corridor.”
According to reports, key stops along the route have allowed access to Meharry Medical College and Fisk University with transfer points to other MTA routes, including University Connector, Bordeaux, and St. Cecilia/Cumberland.
Reports stated this move was another step in Mayor Barry and Nashville MTA’s response to calls for increased service options.
They added there was a growing need to improve access to opportunity, as identified through the nMotion process.
“The all-electric buses that will now operate on Jefferson Street are part of an ongoing effort at MTA to embrace and implement alternative energy transportation,” said MTA Board Chair Gail Carr-Williams. “This helps us to not only provide transit service for riders to get to and from work, school, shopping, houses of worship, and entertainment, but to do so responsibly by reducing our carbon emissions, and eliminating both air and noise pollution for everyone along the corridor.”
Nashville MTA was announced as a grant recipient of the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration Low or No Emission Vehicle program in September and was awarded $500,000 through the Lo-No grant.
That money was set to go toward the purchase of more all-electric buses to operate on the Music City Circuit.