NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A newly launched coalition has been demanding that city leaders consider how Mayor Megan Barry's $6 billion transit plan, called nMotion, could hurt some of Nashville's poorest residents.
"It’s very expensive to live in Nashville, and it’s not fair," said Angelique Johnson, a Nashville native. "Especially when we got to put our tax dollars into building stuff and helping out with the community, while we can’t have somewhere safe and affordable to live.”
Johnson was one of about 50 people who marched from the Edgehill library to the JC Napier homes Sunday as part of PATHE, or the People's Alliance for Transit, Housing, and Employment.
PATHE members said other cities have shown cost of living often skyrockets along corridors where new rail lines have been built. They argued Nashville has already been in an affordable housing crisis and can't afford for prices to rise.
PATHE has been wanting the city to provide a detailed community plan to ensure the following before nMotion moves forward.
1. Expand to 24-hour bus service.
2. Expand bus service to neighborhoods with growing transit-dependent workers, including Antioch, Hermitage, and Madison.
3. No cuts to existing bus routes.
1. Build 31,000 low-income homes now.
2. All public funding for residential development connected to nMotion should be dedicated to 0-60% of median household income.
3. Don't sell any public property along transit corridors.
4. Place all land taken through eminent domain in a 99 year public land trust that will not be sold to private developers.
5. Allot public funding to maintain existing low-income housing in transit corridors.
1. Only use construction contractors and subcontractors who pay a living wage and benefits.
2. Dedicate city funds for certified apprenticeship programs targeting communities along transit corridors and Promise Zones.
3. Pay a living wage to all rail employees, at least $15 per hour, and a right to unionize without retaliation.