Bus Service to Airports

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This report in the Transit Strategies Series explores bus service to airports.  Air travelers have unique transit needs in terms of when they travel, how they value time versus price, and their familiarity, or lack thereof of, with local transit services. The most effective airport services provide fast and frequent service seven days a week from early until late.

What do you think?  How can Nashville MTA improve service to the airport?


  1. Peachie J. says

    I agree. The 18 bus ride to and from the airport is long and thus inconvenient. I would suggest a BRT/limited and local stop combination on this route like the 15/55 or 25/56 combinations.

  2. Marshall says

    This is a possible target for railInterstate BRT service running down I-24.

    The interstate runs very close to the airport and a shuttle could be used to get people to and from the train/BRT station. This is the setup Boston currently has with their subway.

    Whatever choice is made it must be marketed and instructions for travelers be made in a VERY clear manner. This has to accommodate both locals and visitors from out of town who don’t necessarily know where hotels are in relation to a schematic transit map.

  3. Scott Troxel says

    I have looked into using the bus to get to the airport from my home or from the Vanderbilt campus. It would take about 1.5 hours to do so – and it just didn’t make sense.
    Frequent buses that are express oriented are the key in my mind. The bus should be marketed as something other than a city bus route. It should be a dedicated bus with its own moniker.
    It might be worth considering having other routes to connect the bus to other parts of downtown. Right now – having to go downtown to catch the airport bus is the part that kills convenience for anyone other than downtown visitors/residents.

  4. Indie says

    I live in Donelson and would have to ride into the city and back out to go to the airport which is just 5 minutes away. Not only is it faster to take a taxi, it doesn’t cost much more to do so.

  5. Dave says

    We need a BRT service,connecting Gallatin to Nashville. The 87X partially fills this,but there are only early morning buses and evening buses. There needs to be a bus around Noon at least.

    Another thought about the Airport bus. How about a bus from Gallatin to the MCC bus depot,via 109,stopping near Lebanon,and a quick stop at BNA,the into Nashville?

  6. Keivan Stassun says

    I think by far the highest priority is all-express service, then more frequent service is a close second.

  7. Stephen McClure says

    I have tried time and again with little success to get conference visitors to use Metro bus service to get downtown from the airport. I wonder if it needs to be marketed (included the LOW cost) far more significantly at the airport.

    Frequency is an issue with which we need to deal also. Are there ways we can institute park and ride to the airport from areas outside downtown? I believe tests for Franklin/Brentwood and Hendersonville might be valuable.

    I find the current map/schedule/express-vs.-local setup pretty confusing. This needs to be simplified and made express only.

    • says

      Thank you Stephen for these suggestions. Simplifying the current routes as well as increasing frequency of service are both under consideration as part of the nMotion process. We are also looking at ways to increase the presence of park and ride lots in the region for commuter service. We have not looked at service to the airport specifically from park and rides but it can be a starting point for that possibility.

  8. Bill Hennessee says

    Service to the airport is important but there should also be connections to Greyhound and MegaBus terminals.

  9. Sarah Nowicki says

    I think a good regional transit system to help people in the outlying areas (Franklin, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, etc.) get to the airport is a great idea.

    We should remember that many downtown hotels have airport shuttles and that system could be incorporated into a downtown link to the airport

    It would also be nice if there was reliable transportation to the airport from Donelson, Hermitage, and Old Hickory. Maybe there could be transportation to and a bus pick up at the Donelson train station.

    • says

      Great suggestion Sarah. Donelson is one of the Tier One areas identified in the NashvilleNext plan for coordinated investments to shape growth and support increased transit in the next ten years. We’ll take this under consideration.