Train Station Breaks Ground In First TN Transit-Oriented Development

LEBANON, Tenn. - Metro Transit Authority officials broke ground on the first train station in the state located steps away from homes and apartments.

If you drive into Nashville, you've sat through the growing gridlock. Ask anyone from Wilson County; the ride in to Nashville on I-40 is quickly getting worse.

"If you get going at a quarter to 7 it's nice you can get to Nashville in 45 minutes," said Lebanon resident Larry Beardsley, "if you get there a quarter after 7 it takes 30 minutes longer."

The exploding growth was the catalyst for the future Hamilton Springs train station. Officials broke ground on it Wednesday. They say it will be the first transit station in the state located where people live, in what they call a "transit-oriented development."

A total of 900 people currently live in apartments and single-family homes at Hamilton Springs. 

"This station will be the centerpiece to the development you see springing up all around you," said MTA CEO Steve Bland.

"We feel like this is our neighborhood," said private developer Rick Bell, "the part of town that we're from. And we wanted something nice to be here but something different too, something that would push Lebanon into the future."

It will be the 7th station for the Music City Star between Wilson and Davidson County.

With 160 parking spots and hundreds more residents expected, MTA hopes it helps ridership grow from 1,000 passengers a day to 1300 or 1500 on Middle Tennessee's only commuter rail.

Beardsly lives at Hamilton Springs and says he's excited to one day take the train to work. He teaches at Belmont University in Nashville.

"I've already checked that there's a connection, a bus that goes from the station to Belmont and Vanderbilt and that area," he said.

He and his neighbors are ready for a train to clear the way for an easier ride to Nashville.

"It's far more reaching that this development," said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, "it helps the whole city and it helps the whole county."

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