The future of light rail in Nashville is expected to be decided tomorrow by metro Nashville council members, despite a city hall scandal that opponents believed would put an end to the transit plan.
After promoting the transit plan through many speeches, appearances and business visits, adversaries of the proposed ordinance suggested it might be in jeopardy following Mayor Megan Barry's affair admission. Despite rumors that council members may pull ordinance 1031, sponsors of the bill are moving forward with the Tuesday vote.
"I think that it's time for us to put it on the ballot and let the voters decide," said Metro Council Member Kathleen Murphy. "This plan is not the metro council, it's not about mayor Barry. It's about getting our constituents out of gridlock and getting them back to the things that they care about. Like spending time with their family or getting to a show downtown without spending half an hour extra just staring at bumper to bumper traffic."
The $5.4 billion transit plan calls for 26 miles of light rail and expansion of the city's bus system. If the bill passes its third reading, it will be on ballot in May. To pass the council, the bill needs 21 votes. There are 25 sponsors on the bill.
Council member Murphy said a transit plan should've started a long time ago. So, there's no reason to delay this one now.
"If the mayor's affair had come out two or three weeks from now, I don't think that we would be discussing rescinding the council's vote that would take place tomorrow night," she said. "And so, we have a plan, we need to move forward with that plan and put it on the ballot in May."