State Holds Its Cards Close On Nashville’s Bus Proposal

Opponents of the Amp include Lee Beaman, whose car dealership the bus system's route would run right past. They take issue with how construction of the dedicated bus lane would affect their neighborhood, as well as left turns on West End Avenue. Backers say new transportation infrastructure has to start now to make ready for growth in the area over the next few decades. (Credit Metro Transit Authority)

Opponents of the Amp include Lee Beaman, whose car dealership the bus system’s route would run right past. They take issue with how construction of the dedicated bus lane would affect their neighborhood, as well as left turns on West End Avenue. Backers say new transportation infrastructure has to start now to make ready for growth in the area over the next few decades. (Credit Metro Transit Authority)

Neither Governor Bill Haslam nor his top transportation official has shown much enthusiasm for Nashville’s new bus proposal, known as the Amp.  But at a state budget hearing today, neither would fully rule out helping pay for the project, either.

State funding for the Amp faces a tug of war, with Metro hoping Tennessee will pay for 20 percent, and opponents trying to make a case against it.  Several wearing red ‘Stop Amp’ stickers sat in the audience, but neither the governor nor Transportation Commissioner John Schroer talked about the proposal until reporters brought it up.

Schroer says right now all eyes are on whether Nashville gets crucial federal dollars for the project.

“They don’t even have commitments from their own council to fund the rest of it.  So those are steps that have to go in the process before they do it.  You’ve gotta do something this big one step at a time; they may be successful, they may not be.”

Opponents have already won over one top state official: House Speaker Beth Harwell, whose neighborhood borders one end of the Amp’s route, has come out against the project.


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