Uber, Lyft may patch transit holes, but they can’t do it all for Nashville

Nashville Business Journal
Scott Harrison

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft may be able to help patch transit holes for Nashville, but they can’t do it all.

So went the message this week from a group of executives and advocates in the transit and ride-sharing space, including Uber’s Nashville general manager and the CEO of Boston-based private transit company Bridj.

The panel discussion, hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce on April 5, centered on shared-use transportation options like Uber and concepts such as Bridj. The latter is self-described as “the world’s first pop-up transit system.”

While acknowledging that these new transportation alternatives offer tremendous opportunities that could help rein in the number of vehicles filling up Nashville’s roadways, the panelists admitted the city still needs a fixed transit system if it wants to move large numbers of people around town and mitigate mounting traffic concerns — the result of Nashville’s surging population totals and arguably the biggest headwind in ensuring employers can recruit workers, employees can readily access jobs and the region’s economic momentum continues.

Uber and similar companies “can’t replace a high-quality transit system,” said Shin-pey Tsay, the deputy executive director of the TransitCenter. But the services from Uber (which has rolled out carpooling service for commuters in other cities) and its peers “give opportunities for transit agencies to focus on high-profile corridors,” Tsay added.

Read the full story in the Nashville Business Journal.


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