Party bus industry could change forever in Nashville

Councilmembers vote on bill Tuesday night
Posted at 6:32 AM, Oct 19, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tee Jordan hopes to see change when it comes to Nashville's transpotainment industry Tuesday night, as elected officials could approve the final reading of a bill that would regulate party vehicles.

Safe Fun Nashville, the community group she helps lead, has advocated for change since a man fell off a vehicle only to find himself riddled with injuries earlier this year. The group is also concerned about passengers bringing their own alcohol on the vehicles without any regulation or driver training to handle those situations. While there's amendments headed toward the council floor, the group is hoping the bill will pass without any changes.

"I want a bill passed, and I want a bill passed as is," Jordan said in an interview before council met. "Basically, this amendment waters down things like seating regulations and passenger safety. The language in the amendment is ambiguous and make it difficult to enforce the rules. What we need to see is enforcement. We need regulation now, so I hope the bill passes as is on third reading today."

They think for party vehicles to operate safely, Nashville needs to use every tool in its toolbox to establish and enforce what they call "common-sense regulation."

Some party bus owners have said they would like to work with the city to ensure their business can stay running and people can still enjoy the party buses.

If the bill passes, there would be a new permit process for how alcohol would be served or allowed on the vehicles. Changes wouldn't take effect until next year, as city leaders would need time to get these rules together.

"We want to promote tourism, but we want people to know when they come to Nashville, they are safe," Jordan said. "This is a race to the top, not a race to the bottom."

Council members will vote on the bill during Tuesday's meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m.