News & Notes
October 10, 2018
MEETING LOCATION CHANGE
The GNRC Executive Board and MPO Transportation Policy Board October 17th meetings will be held at the Clarion Hotel, Nashville Downtown-Stadium location, 211 North First Street, Nashville, TN 37213 at their regularly scheduled times.
October 9, 2018
Moving forward: Mack Hatcher extension to finally break ground in 2019
An extension of Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway is now scheduled to break ground in 2019, Franklin officials said.The northwestern extension project for the roadway originally would have broken ground in 2018, but issues have prevented officials to meet that deadline. City and Tennessee Department of Transportation officials said Monday afternoon that the project would go to bid in December.
October 9, 2018
Regional Smart Mobility Assessment Announced
Last week, the Greater Nashville Regional Council announced the kick-off of its Regional Smart Mobility Assessment Study to provide community leadership, IT directors, transit agencies, planning and public works departments, traffic operations managers, and other stakeholders with a framework for how emerging technologies can improve and optimize the region’s transportation systems. Read the full release here.
October 5, 2018
Some Are Quitting Their Jobs Over A Long, Bad Commute
More than a quarter of Nashville employees surveyed say they have quit a job over a bad commute, according to professional staffing firm Robert Half.In a recent survey in 28 major cities, with 100 respondents in each city, the average nationally was 23 percent of employees admitting to leaving a job because of a bad drive. In Nashville, the average was 4 points higher at 27 percent. And 45 percent of local employees who said their commute had gotten worse over the last five years also said their company was doing nothing to help.
September 27, 2018
Nashville Mayor David Briley loses top transit director
The top transit adviser for Nashville Mayor David Briley left Metro for a new job last week as turnover in the restructured mayor's office continues. Erin Hafkenschiel, director of transportation and sustainability for nearly three years, is set to start a new position outside government. She plans to remain involved in Nashville transportation issues, she said, with an announcement coming soon.
September 20, 2018
14th Transit Citizen Leadership Academy welcomes new class
The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee kicked off its 14th Transit Citizen Leadership Academy on Sept. 5 at Barge Design Solutions. The six-week program provides attendees with the resources they need to be leaders and actively engage in the transit conversation in Middle Tennessee. The class participants represent eight counties in the region, including Wilson County.
September 19, 2018
Federal Regulations Force Music City Star to Cut Service
As Nashville continues to grow, more people are looking for more ways to get around. Among those options is the Music City Star -- more people are using it than ever before. But new federal regulations mean that Music City Star will have to cut service starting next year.
The new federal requirements taking place in 2019 will keep the Music City Star from running more than 12 trips per day, meaning the Star will have to cut its Friday night service -- the only day it exceeds that amount.
The restrictions will soon be in place because none of the Music City Star trains are equipped with Positive Train Control -- automatic train protection technology that helps prevent train vs. train collisions, and derailments caused by trains going too fast -- technology that some riders say the Music City Star should have.
The Nashville Transit Plan would have paid for Positive Train Control, but voters turned it down in May.
The Music City Star says for now it would rather spend the money it has on upgrading the tracks and train cars themselves.... to keep riders both happy and safe.
The Music City Star is also looking to adjust the schedules of the trains, possibly having them arrive to downtown earlier and leave later.
September 14, 2018
Nashville can learn some growth lessons from Atlanta — yes, Atlanta
For many, a mention of Atlanta conjures long commutes, snarled traffic and suburban sprawl.
But an innovative transit redevelopment project around the city's downtown could provide some lessons for planners and government officials in the Nashville region, which is grappling with its own growth.
On Thursday, the brainchild behind the Atlanta Beltline outlined the $4 billion infrastructure undertaking during The Power of Ten, a one-day summit for leaders from the 10 counties that comprise the broader Nashville region. The summit is produced by Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a nonprofit that encourages better growth planning.
"The whole focus of the day was not how to just accommodate growth, but to plan better how we grow," said Carol Hudler, CEO of the planning organization.
The Beltline is a 22-mile loop of bike and pedestrian trails, a modern streetcar system and parks. It's all based on former railroad corridors that encircle Atlanta.
Built to connect 45 neighborhoods, the transit-oriented redevelopment project includes hundreds of affordable workforce homes, free fitness classes, an arboretum, an urban farm and a large public art installation.
September 12, 2018
After stinging referendum loss, Nashville leaders explore transit makeover on Dickerson Pike
The Metro Transit Authority in July applied for $1.5 million in federal funding made available through the U.S. Department of Transportation's BUILD program to study new transportation options on the corridor. It's part of a $2.3 million overall plan with the city providing local matching funds.
The proposed "Great Streets Planning Study" for Dickerson Pike would embrace a complete streets approach, mapping out new sidewalks and protected bike lanes. It would also explore future transit possibilities, including bus rapid transit, along the corridor as well as new technologies such as autonomous vehicles.
September 4, 2018
How transit has impacted Franklin residents the last 15 years
TMA Group executive Debbie Henry took over as the Franklin's transit leader 10 years ago.
When she got the job, she had no way to know how much the system and its ridership would grow throughout the decade. “Our goal is to continue to provide more connectivity for our Franklin citizens, employers and visitors with a timely, efficient and professional public transit service," Henry said.
Last year, Henry unveiled the largest changes to date for the system.
FTA has transitioned away from a fixed route system to one that resembles a grid. Henry said the design came about after users asked for more frequent stops. The FTA has whittled the average time between pickup and drop-off for passengers from 60 to 30 minutes. FTA also added eight new drivers and four new vehicles.
This year, Franklin leaders budgeted about $2.9 million for transit. The system is funded by the city's general fund, state and federal grants, and rider fares.