Critics of the planned high-speed bus line from East Nashville to West End have taken their opposition to a new level. They’re now trying to outlaw the Amp by banning bus rapid transit projects at the state level.
Rep. Vince Dean of Chattanooga sucked the air out of a committee room when he read his bill. It says no Metropolitan Government – referring to Nashville – can build dedicated bus lanes – referring to the Amp – unless the legislature chooses to make an exception.
“It got so quiet in here,” Dean said to the House Transportation subcommittee. “I don’t know if they went to sleep out there or what. But I’d request that we roll it for a week and let everybody digest it.”
Lawmakers have also tried to keep the state from contributing to the $175 million transit line.
Auto dealer Lee Beaman has led the resistance on all levels. He says city officials weren’t listening to his argument that the Amp will make traffic worse, not better.
“We had no other choice other than to turn to the state to see if we could get some relief from the state,” Beaman said Wednesday.
While the state is putting up roadblocks, this week the federal government gave a green light to the Amp, approving an initial $27 million to help fund the project.