Five thousand people would ride Nashville’s proposed bus rapid transit line daily, according to estimates out Thursday. The East-West Connector is now being branded as ‘The Amp.’
Officials hope to finish laying out designs for the Amp over the next year, and start construction in 2015. Metro expects to put up some $60 million, which would fund about a third of the project. They’re counting on federal money to cover almost half, which Nashville Mayor Karl Dean admits is not guaranteed.
“Given the recent state of the budget with all the different issues they’ve had in Washington, that does give you pause, but I think we have to keep moving forward, and I’m confident at some point everything will be straightened out up there and we’ll be able to get the money.”
Last week a state lawmaker from North Nashville hinted at a possible lawsuit if the poor, largely black area is not somehow included. Dean argues there’s more potential ridership and business along West End Avenue. He says that’s the path federal officials want if they’re going to help pay for it.
The plan calls for a bus line with its own dedicated lane running from Five Points in East Nashville through downtown to White Bridge Pike.