Nashville’s Next Mayor: Without the Amp, What’s Next For Transit? | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville’s Next Mayor: Without the Amp, What’s Next For Transit?

Jan 23, 2015

It was already becoming clear that Nashville’s next mayor would abandon divisive plans for the Amp bus rapid transit line. Then Thursday, Mayor Karl Dean did it for them. Prior to the decision to shutdown work on the Amp, WPLN asked the six major candidates where they would like to start work on transit. (Uncut audio of their responses is at the bottom of this post.)

The Amp would have connected East Nashville and West End, and charter school founder Jeremy Kane has his eyes on another avenue.

“I admit my bias,” Kane says. “I’m a block off of Charlotte. I think Charlotte has a ton of possibility because we have the ability to get ahead of a lot of development that is already there and about to come.”

For attorney Charles Robert Bone, it’s about just getting started.

“And if it’s the path of least resistance that goes from Inglewood to Five Points or from Five Points to downtown, we need to get something going, because now it’s almost like we’re in a time warp,” Bone says.

The seven-mile-long Amp was just a distraction, says developer Bill Freeman. He sees the starting point on the Interstates.

“That’s where we need a transportation solution,” he says.

The other candidates are a little less specific about the alternatives to the Amp.

“It’s not about being against one thing,” says at-large councilwoman Megan Barry. “It’s about being for much more.”

Former school board chairman David Fox says he would assemble a community panel.

“I don’t want to prejudge what they’ll decide,” he says. “I think the opportunity here is to tap the sense of urgency that exists in Nashville."

Businesswoman Linda Rebrovick says she supports “rapid transit,” but she’s interested in what can get done in short order, like allowing cars to be outfitted with electronics that give them access to a fast lane.

“Maybe it’s a transponder that people say, 'I’m willing to pay more to be in that lane because I need to get where I’m going faster,'” Rebrovick says. 

Whatever the project, candidates agree it will take time. The Amp was discussed for years and never came close to breaking ground.

The candidates' responses, uncut: