Groups Worry AMP System Ignores Poor Neighborhoods - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Groups Worry AMP System Ignores Poor Neighborhoods

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by Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Metropolitan Transit Authority officials hope the new bus rapid transit plan, "AMP," is a success, but it's not a done deal. Nashville still has to beat out other cities for federal funding.

The AMP could eventually connect Five Points in East Nashville to Saint Thomas Hospital along West End, but some North Nashville residents worry sending the line down the West End corridor simply cuts off poor neighborhoods.

"The largest percentage of the people that live in North Nashville have a very high dependency on public transportation. They're in this area going out into the West End area and would benefit them greatly," said state Rep. Brenda Gilmore, (D) Nashville.

Gilmore along with a number of other groups, including  the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), Concerned Citizens of Nashville and the NAACP met with MTA officials Thursday night. Most seem to think AMP would be good for the city, but worry that it cuts out certain neighborhoods, like North Nashville.

MTA leaders say the federal grants are based on jobs and population, so changing the route could mean Music City can't pull off the project at all.

"There are lots of other corridors in Nashville that I'm sure would benefit from an investment of this type. I don't disagree with that. I support most of what these people want to do today. It's just I don't see out project is a conduit to do that," said AMP Project Director Jim McAteer.

MTA officials point out there is already a number of routes that would connect North Nashville to the proposed AMP line. People there say they'd at least like a stop in the next few years.

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