Faster Buses From Nashville's Suburbs Might Be One Issue Republicans, Democrats Agree On | Nashville Public Radio

Faster Buses From Nashville's Suburbs Might Be One Issue Republicans, Democrats Agree On

Jan 12, 2016

The economic impact of bad traffic could be an issue that overcomes political divisions in this year's legislative session.

Two state senators from opposite ends of the political spectrum say they’re putting differences aside to help get people out of the region's worsening traffic jams. 

“All of us, collectively, realize this is not a political issue,” says Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro. “We’ve got to address this issue now. We’re probably four or five years behind the time.”

Ketron and Nashville Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro went on WKRN’s “This Week with Bob Mueller” to discuss a bipartisan bill allowing the state to seek new ways to pay for transit projects.

For example, Ketron wants to open the door to public-private partnerships, which can give state or federal money to private companies that come forward with innovative transportation projects.

And because large-scale transit is so costly, Yarbro says the region would need quite a bit of investment, and wants to send that message widely.

“I’m not sure if we’re going to see the kind of big investment that we actually need to see our state make this year,” he said, “but I think that bills like this can start building the pathway.”