MTA, RTA Boards Approve New Bus Services - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

MTA, RTA Boards Approve New Bus Services

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Routes go into effect as part of biannual system changes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Monday, the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Board of Directors voted to approve two new bus routes and a number of other service improvements as part of its upcoming fall system changes.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, a new University Connector cross-town route begins, and on Monday, Oct. 1, a new route in the Hickory Hills area near Whites Creek begins.

"We'll be right at the starting gate when the new 28th/31st Avenue Bridge opens," MTA CEO Paul J. Ballard said. "Riders want more cross-town routes, and the new bridge just begs for this one."

Route 21 University Connector will provide cross-town service connecting six universities including Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, Fisk University, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University and Lipscomb University. Buses will travel via the new 28th/31st Avenue Bridge every 30 to 60 minutes on weekdays and hourly on weekends. It provides transfer points to 10 MTA bus routes. In addition, MTA partnered with the Metro Arts Commission, who coordinated six artist-designed transit shelters that will be placed along the new 28th/31st Avenue Bridge.

Route 43 Hickory Hills offers travel between downtown Nashville and Whites Creek High School and also serves Maplewood and Hunters Lanes high schools. This route received federal New Freedoms funding to extend service to the Grace Manor assisted living facility in the northern portion of Davidson County.

"The 43 Hickory Hills puts public transit in an entirely new territory and adds service to Dickerson Road," Ballard said.

In June, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board of Directors voted to approve new expanded express bus service to Murfreesboro/Smyrna/La Vergne and to Gallatin.

Beginning Oct. 1, three new bus routes - Routes 84X Murfreesboro Express, 86X Smyrna/La Vergne Express and 87X Gallatin Express - will be available for RTA customers.

New Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding provides resources for a separate express bus route from Murfreesboro to Nashville. Route 84X Murfreesboro Express will begin service at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), continue to a new Park-n-Ride at the Boulevard Church of Christ on North Rutherford Boulevard, and then continue on Rutherford and Northfield to Broad to the current Route 96X routing.

In addition to the express buses from Murfreesboro, RTA CMAQ funding also provides for a separate express bus route from Smyrna and La Vergne. Buses for Route 86X Smyrna/La Vergne Express will begin service at the Smyrna Kmart Park-n-Ride, continue to La Vergne and to I-24 via Waldron Road.

New Route 87X Gallatin Express will provide additional service to Gallatin, including a portion previously served by Route 92X. A second Park-n-Ride lot in Gallatin is located at the Gallatin Farmers' Market.

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