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Can Nashville Pull Off a $5.2 Billion Transit Makeover?

November 13, 2017

City Lab,

November 10, 2017-

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced a massive transit overhaul for the city earlier this month—one of the boldest municipal projects in recent memory, and easily the biggest in Nashville history. The $5.2 billion plan would introduce 26 miles of in-light rail across four new lines, four rapid bus lines, expanded bus service for existing routes, a major downtown tunneling project, and some two dozen transit centers across the city.

Let’s Move Nashville”goes up for a referendum vote in May 2018. Over the next 7 months, residents of the consolidated Nashville–Davidson County area will debate a goliath project that calls for increases to four taxes in order to pay for a metro transit dig that will run through 2032. The lion’s share of the proposal would be paid for by a one-half percent increase to the sales tax in Nashville, starting in July 2018, which will jump to a full 1 percent in 2023. That’s a tall order, even for liberal Davidson County.

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