Both Sides Of AMP Debate Claim A Little Victory In House Committee Vote

Rick Williams, who leads the Stop Amp group, meets with his supporters before the House hearing on Tuesday.  Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Rick Williams, who leads the Stop Amp group, meets with his supporters before the House hearing on Tuesday. Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Both sides in the debate over the Amp in Nashville had small victories at state capitol on Tuesday.  A legislative committee did not take away the center lane that’s at the heart of the bus rapid transit’s design, but it did say lawmakers will have to approve such a project.  

The bill that moved forward does require local and state officials to approve use of a state road in a mass transit project. But it didn’t ban passengers from boarding in the center lane, as a Senate version does. 

“I’m sure the Amp Yes side will claim victory today. We’re claiming victory, too,” said Rick Williams, who leads the Stop Amp group.

Williams says even though the proposal approved by the House committee doesn’t outright ban the Amp, it is good news for people who want to dismantle the project.

“The bill’s moving on. Speaker Harwell is opposed to the project. Lt. Governor Ramsey is opposed to the project. And most of the members of the committee in there are opposed to the project.”

The Senate version, which strips the Amp of the center lane, is awaiting a floor vote. If this proposal passes both chambers, it could throw the project into jeopardy, since federal funding hinges on the current plan.

Amp supporters have said that the center-running lanes are important in making the bus project more desirable for riders.

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