Access to Transit


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Every transit trip starts and ends with a trip by another mode, and for this reason, providing safe, convenient and comfortable access to transit stops and stations is fundamental to serving existing transit customers and attracting new riders. Seamless and integrated pedestrian, bicycle, drop-off and parking infrastructure supports all forms of multimodal transportation, including walking, biking, car sharing, carpooling and park-and-ride facilities. Today, the conditions in parts of Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region make access to transit a challenge for many people.

How could Nashville MTA/RTA improve access to transit service? Which areas and routes need improved access? What are your thoughts?


  1. Telisha Cobb says

    How do we plan to keep housing, retail and commercial space from skyrocketing even more where there is access to walking, biking, bus and rail?

    Under the current growth strategy it doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of the current residents to build something that only future residents can afford to use. And current and future local small businesses can’t afford. It seems like these efforts as of now could further homogenize our city

  2. Christine says

    While waiting for the 15 to return to work in Green Hills, from the Metro Southeast facility where I went for training (it took me two hours), I had some thoughts:
    1 – Take a map of Davidson County and highlight all the Metro functional places: schools; libraries; Metro Southeast facility, including Traffic School, employee orientation; swimming pools; nature centers, farmers market, offices: ALL these places need to be accessible by public transportation safely both to and fro. ALL these places need to be accessible for pedestrians.
    2 – The struggle to walk to some bus stops (I had to walk then huddle in the ditch off Murfreesboro Pike to wait for the 15 bus) made me think that *pedestrian access* is much more urgent to establish than bicycle access. Having racks on buses is just fantastic and, for me, useful. But we need basic uniform fair pedestrian access to ALL Metro facilities, to ALL Metro bus stops — and to Traffic School! Pedestrian access is more important than bike access. And we need to be able to have fast bus access to Metro offices. Why would someone with DUIs have to drive to Traffic School because it takes him or her 2 or 3 hours to get there by bus?
    3 – It would indeed be useful if the 55 bus stopped at Metro Southeast. It stops at Dell (private) but not at Metro Southeast (Public). I would have walked to the next 55 stop, but there is no way to walk from Metro Southeast toward downtown crossing Briley Parkway safely.
    Thanks for providing the space to comment!

  3. Michael Poinexter says

    It’s not the government’s right to control the means of production of housing and transportation. The traffic problem has been caused by the new urbanist in the Planning Department and the last three mayors. Change those officials and get Metro government out of our neighborhoods and roadways.

    • says

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  4. Jacob K says

    having access in both directions would be helpful. some routes like the one that runs by the farmers market only goes in one direction. great for leaving downtown, bad for getting in. info and expansion!

  5. Susan says

    As weather and daylight permits, I like to ride my bike to the bus stop in Murfreesboro to get the express to Nashville.

    Murfreesboro has very few bike lanes, and while riding in Nashville I notice little regard for the bike lanes. Delivery trucks frequently double-park in bike lanes. How do we correct this issue? Should I contact MNPD to ask them about ticketing policies? It is a safety issue, as those in cars do not want cyclists in their lanes of traffic.

    I do enjoy the bike-bus commute. Most people are amazed and think I am crazy for using it as a method of transportation. I suppose marketing and time will open people’s eyes to the opportunities.

    Thank you for this forum, and your efforts to improve the systems.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      Why to do commute in the first place. Planning regulations are designed to force you to live downtown or in East Nashville. If the Nashville Mayors would allow development in the suburbs maybe you would have a job closer so that you could just ride your bike there.

      Do you own a car?

  6. Peachie J. says

    The crosswalk light at Una Antioch Pike and Mufreesboro Pike (south of the Nashboro Stop on the 15/55) does not work. I wish there was a way for commuters to report things like this. (Or is there and I just do not know about it?)

  7. Chris says

    Vaulx Lane is an accident waiting to happen – the street is within one block of several transit stops, a school, a NashvilleNext center, and is a major speedway cut-through with no stop signs or sidewalks from Kirkwood to S. Douglas. I see mothers with strollers nearly get hit on a daily basis.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      Metro planning has concentrated jobs into downtown. Now you have more traffic that requires people to speed through short cuts to get to work because traffic is so bad. To bad they can’t build businesses in Antioch.

  8. Mary says

    Glendale between Lealand and Granny White. Everyday I see school children walking in the shoulder of the road enroute to JT Moore with cars roaring past them only inches away. It’s not safe for these middle schoolers.

  9. Melissa says

    Nolensville Rd and Harding Place is a big safety issue. Currently, the 12 bus stops just North of McDonalds, and there are no sidewalks or safe ways to cross Nolensville Rd. This is a very heavily used stop. I wonder if arranging a park and ride in the empty lot of the closed K-Mart might lower the volume of pedestrians crossing the road at an unsafe spot?
    A second issue is the lane this bus uses to drop off. Car drivers in that area are not very careful of pedestrians. They often use that bus area as an extension of the right turn lane to Harding.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      To cross Nolensville Road walk on the sidewalk to Harding Place, cross on the crosswalk and walk back to the bus stop. The Metro Government is concerned about your obesity and wants you to walk so you won’t be fat. Do what they want you to do or move downtown.

  10. Denise says

    Hicks Rd. In Bellevue desperately needs sidewalks. People walking up and down that road going to Hwy 70 are riskung their lives..

  11. Robert Allensworth says

    Please bring more sidewalks and crosswalks and bike lanes and mass transit to Bellevue.

  12. Rhonda Clark says

    I have been using Access Ride for almost 20 years. Here are just a few things that need to improve or change.

    1. Service needs to expand outside Davidson County
    2. Vans need to cleaned and serviced more often
    3. More drivers and vans so people are not waiting so long for there ride(s)
    4. More driver training as it relates to certified and uncertified service animals and yes there is a difference. And what needs to happen if someone is afraid of a certified service animal. I’ve had a few drivers that were afraid of my highly-trained assistance dog.

  13. says

    I have long envied the cities that have put in raised rail and roadway systems that jump over busy areas. A prime spot for one (raise roadway) is from the I440 interchange on Hillsboro Road to Harding and Hillsboro. That would allow commuters to move rapidly through Green Hills and free up roads for local and hoping traffic.

    Another thought is to have a trolley system to move students and workers up and down Music Row. Belmont has holdings in several locations on Musi Row and there are many condos being built. If we could trolly riders to Wedgwood on the south end and the traffic circle on the North end, then they could connect with other forms of transit located in the Demonbreun Hills development area.

  14. Tricia Frantz says

    Nashville is built for drivers not mass transit riders. There are virtually no sidewalks so accessing a bus is at best difficult but usually dangerous. Very few neighborhoods are created for work, live & play. Taking a bus now is treacherous, inconvenient & the stops themselves are usually dirty. The stands offer little shelter from bad weather. As long as Nashville has gas stations on every corner instead of grocery stores people will drive.

  15. Bob says

    Except for 2 or 3 buses a day, I have to walk 1.5 miles to get to a bus that runs basically once an hour except on exception. When the weather is nice, it is OK to walk, then stand and wait for the bus. But if it is too hot, too cold, or too wet, there is no way I am going to spend 45 minutes walking/waiting for a bus (then spend 30 minutes on the bus) when I could drive downtown in half that time.

    I have no reasonable access unless I want to live my life according to a bus schedule.

    I had some friends with Vandy free bus ride passes. It took them an hour or two to get to any shopping mall, and they lived one block from bus central downtown.

    • says

      Thank you for the comment, Bob. MTA/RTA is working hard to increase frequency and provide better information about when buses will arrive at their stops. MTA/RTA also plans to begin rolling out a new bus tracking app towards the end of this year and in early 2016. You can read more about it in the “Better Information” Transit Strategy here:

  16. Margie Druffel says

    We need more bus stops period. In West Meade, there are no buses on the major streets: Davidson, Brook Hollow. I have a disabled son who would love to take a bus to work, but there are no buses that run through West Meade. The other problem is that there are no sidewalks so that a bus rider can safely walk to a stop on Charlotte, Hwy 70 or Harding Road. So, I would have to drive my son a mile or so to a bus stop, and at that point, I might as well add a couple more miles and just drive him to work.

  17. David Smith says

    The sidewalk fund is a joke. Builders get out of having to build sidewalks by contributing a mere fraction of the cost to build it to the sidewalk fund. Get on your council members to fix that. Make it so the price of building in Nashville includes the sidewalk. Period.

    Make the bus stops fancy. How much could that cost? Cover them, put in some public bathrooms, vending machines, a taco stand, anything.

    The white papers on light rail and streetcars admit that people preferentially ride them because they have a positive image. Let’s hire some image consultants for the bus line and spin its image into something classy, yet warm and fuzzy.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      A bit quixotic but that won’t stop the elite planners. I agree with all your suggestions as long as you are ready to pay the full price of the costs. That make make your fare about $50 each way.

  18. Mary says

    Number One Need: Car parking garages in the surrounding cities. Riding the train from N.Y. to Rye, N.Y. I saw parking at every stop….The reason there are so many cars on the road from Franklin, Bellevue, Dickson, etc. Is no place to park and hop on a bus to downtown or wherever people work. Traveling overseas I see the same thing. No one is going to walk more than 3-4 blocks [the South sweats] to get on a bus to ride [like at the airport] — then, take another bus to downtown. Large parking garages are the answer…these would then be convenient.
    Number Two: The new shelters being built are a joke. Not large enough for the crowds that MTA wants on the bus. The newest designs have solar power for fans in the summer and heat in the winter.
    Number Three: Investigate London’s congestion fee zone for their downtown area. Amazing what this simple step has done for the traffic. This can only happen after the transport is available.
    Number Four: Develop Parking garages for the shoppers in Green Hills or any other congested area in Nashville to park in…get on a bus and go to G.H… I am not sure how the State allows 440 to back up 1-2 miles the month of December much less the traffic that flows into the neighborhoods from the interstates due to Sirri. Bowling Green and KY and Alabama, etc. need this. Drive through the congested areas and see where license plates are from for an informal survey.
    Number Five: Buy or Borrow enough buses [maybe Megabus would participate] and a garage in each of the satellite cities [P.R. it like mad] for two months and see what happens if make it easy to get to downtown. What happens to traffic …are the people riding happier.

  19. Tony Birmingham says

    I like this but I still wouldn’t use the one in Detroit. Put up bigger shelters where people can get out of the rain and cars (or the bus for that matter) doesn’t splash you with water in a hard rain.

  20. Stephen McClure says

    More substantial bus stops in neighborhoods might also improve the transit experience. There are some in East Nashville that are just the crumbled edge of the road, amidst weeds, trash, and overhanging shrubs. Not even a sidewalk. I believe this contributes to a general impression that the bus is a second class alternative. When the environment reflects the lack of professionalism and non-investment, it is NOT going to lead to increased use/ridership.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      Increased capital expenditures for bus shelters add increase annual maintenance costs. Who’s is going to pay for this.

      Remember, every dollar that is spent on transit has to be spent on roadways, bike lanes and sidewalks.

  21. JA Douglas says

    The current lack of connected sidewalks is a huge deterrent for potential riders. Having access to a comprehensive network of sidewalks that actually lead to a transit stop could greatly increase ridership numbers.

    • Mollie Henry says

      Agree. Lack of sidewalks is a deterrent to lots of positive things. At a minimum, all our schools should have sidewalks radiating out a mile along every road that leads to the school.

    • Michael Poindexter says

      Everything you want has been included in every sidewalk plan Metro has ever conceived. Who is going to pay for all those sidewalks?

  22. Jan says

    In the Mt. Juliet area, designate a spot in the Providence shopping center area for parking and shuttle those taking the train. This would help cut down on congestion through the school zones and the parking lot wouldn’t have to be expanded at the current train pickup point.

    Have easily read signs posted with arrival and departure times so everyone knows what to expect. Also, take into consideration the rain that we get. It isn’t good to show up at work looking like a drowned rat…

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    • Michael Poindexter says

      NMotion will not answer your question. I will. Commercial shopping centers are required to have and certain number of parking space per square foot of floor space. Why should the MTA be allowed to take up parking spaces that businesses need to accommodate their customers?