NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After years of debate, Nashville is finally licensing entertainment and sightseeing vehicles in the downtown corridor.
The Nashville Department of Transportation said the Metro Transportation and Licensing Commission issued 89 entertainment vehicle permits out of the 159 applications. Of those numbers, 50 of those permits were for sightseeing. The remaining 39 were entertainment transportation.
All of the permitting processing comes after Gov. Bill Lee approved state legislation for regulating the industry on the Metro level. The amended regulations went into place April 1. As part of the process, the vehicles must pay their application fees: $5,000 for entertainment vehicles and $2,500 for sightseeting. All documentation and insurance must be in place by mid-July or they will have to go back before the commission.
Vehicles can hit Nashville streets between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. There's a carve-out for rush hour on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. An operating zone has yet to be determined.
The commission has been of topic to the Nashville mayor's office and the city's police chief, with Mayor John Cooper and Chief John Drake writing letters against entertainment vehicles circulating throughout the downtown corridor.
Cooper said he's been working on the issue since he took over at the top of the city's helm. Party vehicles — and their regulation — continued to be a topic in much of 2021 and 2022, as Metro Council worked to figure out the best measures for operating. Safe Fun Nashville, a group that supports further regulation of party vehicles, added to the conversation and urged the council to take action.
Drake wrote to the Transportation and Licensing Commission that he would caution proving a limited number of permits to operators and spelled out how it affected the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Downtown residents will be able to report any violations to Hub Nashville, Transportation Licensing Commissioners and the Metro Nashville Police Department.