As traffic continues to get worse in Middle Tennessee, officials with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Tennessee Department of Transportation have begun looking at ways to improve public transportation.
One proposal picking up steam would allow buses to drive on the shoulder of interstates to avoid traffic during high-traffic times.
“If you think it’s sometimes difficult to be merging and negotiating traffic with a regular car, imagine with a bus.” Felix Castrodad, director of planning for the MTA explained. “The idea with this is just to give the bus an edge over the regular traffic.”
The plan is part of the Freeway BRT, or “Bus Rapid Transit” system, which is aiming at getting people to and from the metro area with less delay.
‘These routes are typically longer distances, they’d only have a few stops.” Castrodad said of the routes that could be created.
While the plan would require minimal changes to the interstates, park and ride lots would be created to make it easier for people to use the new system.
“If more people can ride public transportation, then it’d be better for everybody.” Stephen Huffman, a Nashvillian, said, adding that he doesn’t ride the bus, but if it meant him getting to work faster, he may reconsider. “It would help the throughput of traffic on the interstates and also give people an incentive to ride on the buses because they’d get there quicker.”
While this proposal is popular among those who hear it, it is just one of about twenty proposals that will be evaluated.
Once a proposal is chosen, MTA will work with TDOT and the state legislature to implement the plan, which could take months, if not years.
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