Listening To First Transit Voters Reveals Nashville's Divide | Nashville Public Radio

Listening To First Transit Voters Reveals Nashville's Divide

Apr 11, 2018

Voters are beginning to cast ballots this week on Nashville’s mass transit proposal.

To get a glimpse into how individuals are making their decisions — for or against — WPLN caught up with voters outside of polling places on the first day of early voting.

You can hear thoughts above from stay-at-home mom Dijuana Davis, Korean War veteran Bill Haynie, Colombian immigrant Marcela Gomez, and retired nurse Mary Hamilton.

The city has 11 locations open until April 26 — see them here.

In addition to transit, the ballot includes local primaries for several judgeships and other criminal justice offices — see the Democratic and Republican primary ballots here.

As requested through Curious Nashville, WPLN is also providing the full text of the transit referendum, which voters are asked to vote on — either “for” or “against.”

TRANSIT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM REFERENDUM ELECTION

“Passage of this measure allows the Metropolitan Government to improve and expand transit services to include: expanded bus service countywide; new transit lines; new light rail and/or rapid bus service along Nashville’s major corridors, including the Northwest Corridor, and a tunnel connection through downtown Nashville; new neighborhood transit centers; improvements to existing train service; safety improvements, including sidewalks and pedestrian connections; and system modernization.

This transit program’s capital cost is estimated to have a present day value of $5,354,000,000 and the program is estimated to require $8,951,062,000 in revenue through 2032. Once construction is complete, the estimated present day value of recurring annual operating and maintenance costs is approximately $99,500,000. The Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Department of Public Works will undertake implementation of the program.

This transit program will be funded by tax surcharges, debt, federal grants, farebox revenues and convention center and airport authority participation. The tax surcharges consist of: 1) a sales tax surcharge of 0.5% for the first five years, increasing to 1% in 2023; 2) a hotel/motel tax surcharge of 0.25% for the first five years, increasing to 0.375% in 2023; 3) a 20% surcharge on the business tax; and 4) a 20% surcharge on the rental car tax. These tax surcharges will end once all debt issued for the program has been paid and the Metropolitan Council determines by resolution that the revenues from the tax surcharges are no longer needed for operation of the program.”