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Metro Council looks to regulate party buses through new bill

Bill would place vehicles under city control
AM AARON TRANSPOTAINMENT BILL _00 VO.transfer_frame_778.jpeg
Posted at 8:54 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 22:49:32-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Party buses have become the norm along Broadway, but there’s a new push to have them regulated.

Tuesday night, Metro Council approved a bill that calls for a more comprehensive makeover of the city's oversight of transpotainment vehicles. Currently, the authority of these large vehicles falls under the state. The bill still requires two more votes before it will be enacted.

If this bill passes, transpotainment owners could be faced with a different set of rules.

Councilmember Freddie O'Connell drafted the bill to place these vehicles under city control and jurisdiction; like it has for golf carts, pedal taverns and scooters.

The bill would also call for licensing or permits to serve alcohol.

O'Connell says this is not a ban just more regulations. Some party bus owners want to be involved in the decision-making process.

"We are welcome to common sense regulations, we would love to sit down with O’Connell. We want to be part of the solution and not the problem,” Big Drag Bus owner, Josh Cloud

O'Connell said there have been many complaints about the noise and the risk factors associated with intoxicated people on these buses, so there needs to be some regulation.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. (NCVC) has already said they are in favor of this legislation. The NCVC announced Monday that three entertainment vehicles were informed on September 8 that their memberships were being made inactive.

According to NCVC President Butch Spyridon, the businesses are The Nashville Tractor, Honky Tonk Party Express and Upstage Party Bus.

"The NCVC informed three entertainment vehicles on Sept. 8 that their memberships were being made inactive, either by refunding the annual membership dues they had paid or not renewing their annual membership, which happened to be currently up for renewal," Spyridon said. "At a time when the NCVC is working to regulate this category of party buses and tractors, we did not feel it was right to keep their membership payment. In the interest of fairness and not appearing hypocritical, our board felt this was an appropriate measure. We hope to work with these companies again in the future."