Bus Rapid Transit Project Has Supporters With Deep Pockets

Some opponents of the Amp argue it would be more efficient to just expand simpler forms of mass transit. Via the Transit Alliance/Nashville MTA

Some opponents of the Amp argue it would be more efficient to just expand simpler forms of mass transit. Image via the Transit Alliance/Nashville MTA

The drumbeat is growing louder for a new bus-rapid transit line with dedicated lanes across Nashville known as The Amp.  Meanwhile a small handful of skeptics are starting to take their concerns online.

A well-funded group of Amp backers put out a list last week of dozens of community and business leaders cheering for the project.  Contributors to the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee include big companies like Bridgestone and Regions, as well as engineering and law firms, and universities.

And there’s a big one: Vanderbilt.  The Amp would go right past its campus.  Vandy is committing more than half a million dollars to the Transit Alliance through 2015, says Beth Fortune, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs:

“We have long been supportive of mass transit, and see the need for it because of faculty recruitment, because of safety, because of convenience and accessibility, and because of the environment.”

But a campaign against the project may be on the horizon, with neighbors and businesses worried dedicating lanes down West End Avenue will actually worsen traffic.  Under the banner Stop BRT, Save West End, opponents have started a group on Facebook.


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