Monorail To Murfreesboro: Transit Planners Say It’s Too Costly, But TDOT Will Study It Anyway

Lawmakers passed Senator Bill Ketron's bill, requiring TDOT to study building a monorail in the median of I-24. The agency must report back to the legislature by February 1, 2015. Image: Joe Penniston/Flickr

Lawmakers passed Senator Bill Ketron’s bill, requiring TDOT to study building a monorail in the median of I-24. The agency must report back to the legislature by February 1, 2015. Image: Joe Penniston/Flickr

How much would it cost to build a monorail that runs from Nashville to Murfreesboro?

Transit planners already decided it would be too expensive to be practical, back in 2007. But despite that assumption, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is studying the idea at the request of a state Senator from fast-growing Rutherford County.

While TDOT officials laughed off the concept when it came up in the legislature, they’ve now had to hire a consultant for $25,000 to get a rough estimate.

Senator Bill Ketron says he’s serious about building a monorail down the median of I-24. He’s even discussed it with a Canadian train manufacturer.

Michael Skipper of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization says a monorail is nothing to laugh at, but points to the previous findings. “Unfortunately, for those who like monorail, it was sort of screened out initially due to its high cost and the expected ridership that we were looking at,” Skipper said in an April interview with WPLN.

Transit advocates say it’s ironic that Senator Ketron is pushing for a monorail to Murfreesboro. This year he voted to block a high-speed bus line slated to connect East Nashville and West End.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.