Following closely after the defeat of the multi-billion dollar transit referendum, renovation work will begin on Nashville’s main downtown bus terminal, Music City Central. The $6 million project was already planned, and some consider it overdue.
The station is now 10 years old — relatively young compared to some Metro facilities — but Metro Transit Authority spokeswoman Amanda Clelland said the facility is heavily used.
“It sees roughly 17,000 people go through every day, which is about the size of a Preds game at Bridgestone (Arena),” she said.
With buses coming and going on two levels, the station can be a gnarly, unapproachable place. There are exhaust fumes, loud squeals of bus brakes and hydraulic puffs, and grime coats the mostly gray-and-brown interior.
The upgrade looks to answer those conditions with an extensive cleaning, fresh paint, new colors, public art and new signage.
The renovation should appeal to tourists and first-timers, Clelland said, while also improving the experience for everyday riders — like James Sullivan, who was waiting for his bus during the MTA’s project tour on Wednesday.
“I contribute a lot of money to MTA,” Sullivan said, laughing about the monthly passes he buys. “They need to get it fixed — my money’s paying for it. They need to get it fixed.”
He transfers most days at Music City Central while going from North Nashville to 8th Avenue South, and the requests he has, like better bathrooms, are mostly going to be met.
Those bathrooms, which have caused protests, will be completely rebuilt.
The biggest disruption will be a few months of closures to the bus bays, meaning many riders will board on the three surrounding streets, forcing some downtown detours.
The MTA said the outdoor stops will be provided temporary overhead shelters.