Community Leaders Encourage Public Transit - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Community Leaders Encourage Public Transit

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Cities across the country are looking to beef up public transportation, including here in Nashville, but city leaders are making sure some services aren't decreased due to a lack of ridership. While one service closes, another is building momentum.  

Though it may be a little quieter than on a normal weekday, it is business as usual on Saturday at MTA's Music City Central.

"I took the bus, I had never taken it," said Kris Collier, an Antioch Resident. "This was great, it seemed like no time passed between going to the mall and coming downtown."

Taking the bus might be a first for residents like Kris Collier, but city leaders are hoping it won't be her last.

"In order for us to maintain and keep that bus service, we're going to have to ride it," said Metro Council Member Jacobia Dowell.

On the heels of the announcement that MTA's BusLink service in Antioch will be canceled, where riders could call to go to one of 40 stops, Dowell and community leaders organized 'Try Transit Day,'  giving people an opportunity to take Nashville's public transportation.

"Today was an opportunity for all of us to get together, ride the bus together, and learn about our transit system in Nashville and a little more information about our AMP and our BRT and become more frequent bus riders," said Dowell.  

The Bus Rapid Transit also known as BRT lite service from Antioch is just the beginning of the city's plan for expansion through the AMP project, a light rail system, that will connect Nashville East to West.  

"I think with good transportation you can get rid of that stigma to leave your house and walk a quarter of a mile down the road, get a little exercise and hop on the bus and be where you need to be," said Beth Winett, whose husband and son ride the bus daily.  "Its getting out and doing it. It's like hang gliding, the first time you do it's scary but the next time, you're like whoo let's do it again."

The BRT lite services stop every three quarters of a mile every 15 to 30 minutes along their route. BRT Lite Gallatin Pike goes from Rivergate to Downtown. The newest route on Murfreesboro Pike takes passengers Downtown to and from the former Hickory Hollow Mall.

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
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