Tennessee’s Department of Transportation is supporting Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s push to build a bus rapid transit line. But the state still has questions about how it would work.
The city of Nashville is trying to do a direct deal with the federal government to help fund the BRT line that would connect East Nashville and West End. The state may be asked to chip in funding. TDOT would at least have to sign off on the engineering plans, which haven’t been completed.
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer points out that the route technically runs on state highways and would reduce the number of lanes for cars as well as restrict some left turns.
“We’ve got to make sure everything keeps the flow of traffic moving. Because even though they do have a bus going there, we also have a lot of cars – not only going up and down West End, but crossing West End.”
City transit officials are beginning to hold informational meetings on the BRT line. Most of the opponents are concerned about the impact on car travel once buses take priority.
When asked how involved TDOT will be in trying to get federal money for what has been dubbed “The Amp,” Schroer said, “that’s not our job.” In the course of a two minute discussion with WPLN, the commissioner sounded less enthusiastic about the project than Mayor Karl Dean. Listen here: