Nashville Light Rail?

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  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,844 posts
Nashville Light Rail?
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:04 AM
without comment:
Billion-dollar transit plan must benefit all Nashville


People's Alliance for Transit, Housing and Employment
Published 1:08 p.m. CT Sept. 18, 2017 | Updated 2:32 p.m. CT Sept. 18, 2017


Editor's note: This is an edited and abridged version of a statement by the authors. 


Mayor Megan Barry has announced plans to place a tax referendum on the ballot to fund the $6 billion nMotion public transit plan. 


The plan, which includes new light rail lines along several major corridors — beginning with Gallatin Pike — would be the largest infrastructure project in our city’s history.


But will it benefit all Nashvillians? Or will light rail further lead to economic and racial inequality?


Among their stated goals, the Metropolitan Transit Authority aims to increase transportation services to Davidson County low-income and minority residents by 231 percent and make services faster and more frequent in selected areas. 


This sounds like good news. However, the experience of other cities, including Denver and Atlanta, has shown that without explicit community benefits written into major transit projects, these transit projects can have unintended, devastating consequences for everyday people. 


These include dramatic cost of living hikes along new transit corridors, mass displacement of poor and working-class residents, shuttering of small businesses, land grabs by private investment firms, and deterioration of bus services in neighborhoods that need it the most. 


Despite being presented as a plan to reduce gridlock, nMotion is centered on big development. In a Metro Council budget hearing in May, MTA CEO Steve Bland made the surprising admission that, “If you’re only doing (light rail) for the transportation benefit, it is probably not money well spent.”




No-strings-attached “economic growth” does not bode well for Nashvillians. Decades of experience show us that those flowing rivers of development cash never quite seems to trickle down. 


In response to the proposed transit tax referendum, Democracy Nashville, Homes for All Nashville, Music City Riders United, and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1235 have joined together to launch the People’s Alliance for Transit, Housing, and Employment (PATHE). 


We want to ensure that all Nashvillians benefit from light rail.




There are three pressing areas of concern, which require written and enforceable community benefits:




Build affordable housing


Gentrification has accelerated the affordable housing crisis in Nashville. We are witnessing increasing economic and racial segregation as entire neighborhoods are being displaced. 


According to the mayor, 31,000 affordable housing units must be built by 2025 to meet the needs of our residents. 31,000 homes. Unfortunately, as new transit corridors are developed, property speculation and gentrification along these corridors will drive up property prices and rents. 


Expand bus service


In other cities, bus routes to low-income neighborhoods have been eliminated to cover the enormous expense of building and maintaining rail lines. We need to ensure the opposite — a guarantee to expand service to 24 hours and increased frequency on nights and weekends. 
Create good-paying jobs


In recent years, the city government has given away billions of our tax dollars for to build the Music City Center, stadiums, and hotels. None of these projects have included guarantees of decent wages, safe working conditions, and career opportunities for construction workers or the workers who maintain these facilities. 


Our city has an opportunity to seriously address the triple crises of skyrocketing rents, rising income inequality, and lack of reliable, accessible public transit.

We call on Mayor Megan Barry and Metro Council to ensure that the nMotion transit referendum proposal include community benefits that lift up all of our communities.
The People’s Alliance for Transit, Housing and Employment comprises Homes For All Nashville, Democracy Nashville, Music City Riders United and ATU Local 1235. Learn more by emailing or visting

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,844 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:07 AM

I am unsure if this should have been posted.  Possibly it is too political.  I'll let the moderator decide, and if it should be removed, I cannot object.


But it does show what light rail advocateds might expect.

  • Member since
    October, 2009
  • 18 posts
Posted by prk166 on Friday, September 22, 2017 7:05 PM

I'm not sure anyone should expect anything in Nashville unless a 2018 transit tax gets on the ballot AND it passes.   Short of that, I don't get the sense that there's a deep bench willing to go to the mat to get it done in Davidson COunty.

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