Nashville Mayor Calls Federal Funding For Amp Transit Line A ‘Validator’

Supporters of the Amp BRT line held signs behind Mayor Karl Dean at the Metro Courthouse as he thanked President Obama for federal funding. Credit: Dean Administration

Supporters of the Amp BRT line held signs behind Mayor Karl Dean at the Metro Courthouse as he thanked President Obama for federal funding. Credit: Dean Administration

The push to build a high-speed bus route connecting East Nashville and West End got a boost from the White House Tuesday. The Obama Administration’s budget designated $27 million in funding for the Amp.

The money from the Federal Transit Administration is only about a third of what Nashville Mayor Karl Dean requested. But he expects the rest will come in later years.

On the state level, lawmakers have resisted chipping in to build dedicated bus lanes down the center of West End Ave and across downtown to East Nashville. Dean says he still plans to ask for state help, calling the federal money a “validator.”

This is the federal government and the transit experts saying this is a good project on the right corridor, designed the right way, and we’ll take it one step at a time.

At a hastily called press conference, Dean thanked President Obama. He also called it “a moment for celebration.” But he directed several comments at detractors, beating back a new line of criticism that the bus line would make it harder for police cruisers and fire trucks to get through.

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