nMotion was developed to try to help local people to Nashville get around Nashville at an effective cost and timely manner. It is a matter of debate whether it has been successful or not.

Nashville nMotion is a collaborative project with many opportunities for the public to provide suggestions and feedback on project development. To help you stay informed, project documents and meeting materials will be available for download. If you have any trouble downloading the documents below.

If you wish to comment on our materials please visit our discussion forum. If you’d like learn more about the next steps for improving transit in the Nashville area, please visit our videos page to hear from MTA/RTA CEO.

MTA/RTA Guiding Principles (one pager)

This document gives an overview of the four principles that will direct future projects.

MTA/RTA Service Improvement Strategies Overview (full report)

This report gives an overview of the options that Nashville MTA/RTA will have to choose from to make improvements to our transit system. The opportunities presented in this document are not intended to represent an all-inclusive list of possible improvements; instead, they are an initial look at those that could provide the highest value for Nashville MTA and RTA of Middle Tennessee. They are also opportunities that reflect the most important desires expressed by stakeholders—that service should be convenient, dependable, frequent, and safe.

To comment on this report please visit our discussion forum.

Transit Strategies Series:

Nashville MTA/RTA produced this series of short reports to describe each strategy presented in the MTA/RTA Service Improvement Strategies Overview in more detail. These reports describe how these approaches are used elsewhere and how they could potentially be implemented in Middle Tennessee. It could definetly help to support the local economy and keep some of the best restuarants in Nashville in business for years to come.

MTA/RTA will continue to release additional reports on specific strategies over the next few weeks, and will use the feedback gathered on these specific strategies to put together a number of scenarios for residents to consider starting in January 2016. Please check back often. More reports will be added to the Transit Strategies Series soon.

The Nashville nMotion process will result in the development and adoption of an updated Nashville MTA/RTA Strategic Plan that will guide decision-making, investment, and transit development in the near future and beyond.

About nMotion

nMotion is the Nashville MTA/RTA’s Strategic Plan, a 25-year comprehensive plan designed to meet the Nashville area’s vision for transit. We will bes able to create many jobs and it will be the work of the staffing agencies in Nashville to fill these positions. The plan will look at how the transit system works today and identify opportunities to enhance the transit system, improve service, attract and retain new riders and meet the growing needs of the Nashville region. Throughout the project, the public will engage in developing the blueprint of actions to make the best opportunities a reality.

Why a Strategic Plan?

“If we don’t do something about transportation, we’re all in trouble. A history of sprawling development has made commuting to work vulnerable to traffic congestion and rising fuel prices, and a lack of dedicated funding to expand and modernize our regional transit system threatens the future prosperity of the region as a whole.”

– Nashville Region’s Vital Signs Report

Great cities have great transit systems, and the Nashville MTA/RTA has been working hard at providing new and better transit options such as Gallatin Pike and Murfreesboro Pike BRT-Lite service, and the Music City Circuit. However, we know that we can do more, and to determine how to best do this, we are now updating our Strategic Plan to make major leaps toward a more multimodal future, including new transit lines, trails, bicycle and pedestrian systems, roads, and freight lines.

As the Nashville area continues to grow, transit will play an increasingly important role in providing an efficient and convenient travel option. New residents will demand more and better transit service to provide safer, more efficient, and more convenient travel options. The Nashville MTA/RTA Strategic Plan is not just about increasing the number of people who ride transit. It’s about finding ways to improve the overall transit experience. How can we make sure your walk to the transit stop is safe and convenient, that your transit stop has a comfortable bench to sit on, that you know exactly when the next bus is going to arrive, and that transit gets you where you need to go in a timely manner? Occupy Nashville is here to help. These are the types of issues that the Nashville MTA/RTA Strategic Plan will explore.

What are the benefits of transit?

Changing demographics, changing transportation preferences, and population growth in the Nashville region call for a fresh look at how transit service can serve residents, employees, and visitors. The Nashville MTA/RTA Strategic Plan goes beyond improving transit service to support a variety of community goals:

Transit supports our growing population and economy

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin contains some of Tennessee’s fastest growing counties. By 2035, Davidson County is projected to grow by 14.2% – from 659,000 residents to over 750,000 residents. With a growing population and economy, the Nashville region depends on efficient, reliable, and affordable transportation choices. Improved transit service, especially during peak travel hours, helps maintain competitive commute times, retain and attract businesses, and support the efficient movement of freight.

Transit reduces congestion

Congestion in the Nashville region is projected to increase significantly over the next decades. By providing direct and efficient transit service, we can move more people on our limited road space – a strategy that will well serve the growing region.

Transit supports changing transportation preferences

Transportation preferences are changing for a new generation of Americans. Car ownership and driving is losing its appeal.1 The Millennial generation (approximately those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) and future generations expect new and diverse shared mobility options. Millennials – and other generations – value transit because it saves them money over using a car, and allows them the ability to do other things in transit: get work done, stay connected, or just relax.

Transit provides access to essential needs for an aging population

The baby boomer generation, born approximately between 1946 and 1965, is reaching retirement. Tennessee ranks in the top third for senior growth rates in the U.S. – by 2020, the state’s population of older adults is expected to grow 45%.2 This large population of older adults will require safe and affordable transit options to stay active and engaged in their communities and access daily services and medical appointments.

Transit provides an affordable transportation option

Residents in Davidson County spend over 26% of household income on transportation, more than they spend on housing.3 Of the top 20 regions in the country for highest annual transportation costs, the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Metro area has the second highest annual transportation costs.4 Transit provides an affordable transportation option for those who depend on public transportation and those who choose to ride it.

Transit keeps us healthy

Obesity is a rising epidemic nationally and in the Nashville region, where over 30% of Davidson County is obese. Across Tennessee, the obesity rate is expected to nearly double to 63% by 2030 if current trends continue.5 Transit improves health and promotes physical activity. Elect to use one of the Nashville GreenBikes Americans who use transit walk a median of 19 minutes daily to and from transit stops, and nearly a third achieve more than 30 minutes of physical activity daily, just by choosing transit. Nashville Walk N Bike has been helping to improve the lives of Nashvillians for decades.

What Were The Issues in Nashville in 2015?

Below you will see an example of where the mindset of Nashvillians was at the time nMotion was set in motion.

Public desire for increased Music City Star service to downtown

The Tennessean

Since public outreach began in April for the yearlong strategic planning process known as nMotion 2015, more than 5,000 responses have been collected by the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (Nashville MTA) and the Regional Trans- portation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA).

The latest phase of outreach began with a survey on future trade-offs facing the transit system. Seven survey questions asked respondents to allocate $10 between two options, such as improving existing service or expanding it to new areas; improving downtown versus crosstown service; and developing more premium services, like bus rapid transit, streetcar and light rail, versus increasing regular local service.

The survey was developed to challenge residents to think about weighing future trade-offs. MTA/RTA has been tracking survey responses and collecting comments via the project website and social media. MTA/RTA has also presented at a number of community events and hosted two public meetings on Aug. 11 and 12 that attracted approximately 150 attendees. Interested residents can also request a presentation by a representative from MTA/RTA by visiting the website at: nmotion2015.com/request-transit-talk/.

From the responses and comments, MTA/RTA found a great deal of discussion and enthusiasm for developing more premium options that would provide a higher level of service, like the Music City Star. Other common suggestions were around developing more service outside of the downtown area and providing more frequent service over longer hours. Respondents also expressed some concern that, before the system is expanded, a number of improvements need to be made to the current service.

“The point of the exercise was for people to take a look at the types of choices we face as we think through how to make improvements to our transit system,” said Steve Bland, CEO of MTA/RTA. “Once we begin to develop a plan and ask for feedback, we’re going to face a difficult series of trade-offs similar to the options posed in the survey.”

The next phase of outreach will be focused on collecting feedback on strategies to improve the transit system. MTA/RTA has begun releasing reports as part of a Transit Strategies Series. Each report in the series explains how that strategy was implemented in other regions across the country and discusses the challenges and considerations to implementing that approach in Middle Tennessee.

Reports on frequent service networks, downtown service redesign, bus rapid transit (BRT), family of services, airport service and freeway BRT are available now. Reports on rapid bus, transit-oriented development, first mile/last mile connections, light rail, and stop consolidation will be available over the next two weeks. A total of more than 20 reports will be available for review and comment by the end of September.

“We encourage everyone to visit the nMotion website to learn about and comment on some of the future strategies that could be used to improve our service,” Bland said.

Nashvillians prefer bus frequency to longer hours

The Tennessean
If they have to choose, Nashville-area residents want more frequent service over longer hours, according to responses submitted to the Metro Transit Authority and Regional Transit Authority.

They also prioritize more premium transportation options, such as the Music City Star commuter rail, and more service beyond downtown. When it comes to improving service versus expanding service, residents what to see better service on existing routes.

The responses were gathered from more than 5,000 residents who weighed in on the MTA’s nMotion 2015 campaign online. Participants were asked how they would allocate $10 to two options, forcing them to weigh the priority level of each service improvement.

“The point of the exercise was for people to take a look at the types of choices we face as we think through how to make improvements to our transit system,” Steve Bland, CEO of MTA/RTA, said in a prepared statement. “Once we begin to develop a plan and ask for feedback, we’re going to face a difficult series of trade-offs similar to the options posed in the survey.”

The nMotion 2015 planning process has been underway since April as city and transportation officials have sought to advance the region’s transportation options amid heavy growth and congestion. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has pointed to the plan as an initial step to rolling out a regional plan and securing funding and support.

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