Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell Announces Local Transit Funding Referendum

Nashville voters can expect to see local transit funding on their ballots in November, according to Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell.

O’Connell first introduced the improvement on Nashville’s transit options as the focus of his campaign before securing office. He shared details on the official announcement in a news conference last month.

The program, titled “Choose How You Move”, focuses on sidewalk improvements, bus system improvements, neighborhood transit centers, and the idea of a high-capacity service to the airport.

“To me, this is really just … an announcement that we’re going to be building on all of that professional work and building off of all that community input, and we think we’ve got enough material between WeGo and NDOT in particular that we can build a good, commonsense plan that is going to help people move around the city more easily, conveniently and affordably,” O’Connell shared. He has gathered inspiration from an ongoing study with WeGo and NDOT, as well as 70 other planning processes that have taken place since 2015.

O’Connell hopes to collaborate with organizations such as Transit Now Nashville, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, WalkBike Nashville, the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and Moving Forward, on this project. His plans include 86 miles of new sidewalks, 38 miles of dedicated bus rapid transit lanes concentrated on major roadways and upgrades to around 600 traffic signals. O’Connell’s administration is currently considering a half-cent sales tax surcharge to fund the “Choose How You Move” transit improvement plan.

To appear on the ballot in November, Metro must meet several qualifications by August including: shaping a transit improvement plan, soliciting public comments, coordination with local government, preparing and obtaining a financial plan, obtaining approval from Metro Council, and more.

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