State of the RTA System

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.38.59 AMThe State of the RTA System Report provides an overview of existing RTA transit services and an evaluation of how well these services match transit demand in the region, both today and 25 years in the future. Based on those findings, the report presents the key issues facing RTA and serves as a starting point for the strategies and recommendations that will inform the final Nashville MTA/RTA strategic plan, nMotion, to be released in spring 2016.

State of the RTA System (full report)

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts on the State of the RTA System report with us. 


  1. Johnnie Love says

    Highway 109 is so congested no matter what time of day you travel on that road. If any road in Sumner County needs to be widened, it is 109.

  2. Kurt Riley says

    The old “If you build it, they will ride it” comes to mind with all of this mass transit talk again. This is nothing more than Chamber of Commence gibberish. People don’t give up their cars is the biggest reason for mass transit failures. We like to drive. The music city star began in 2006 and it over-estimated it ridership and under-estimated it’s costs and 10 years later the train’s revenue from fair sales still don’t fund the operating costs. This is why the taxpayers have to subsidies it. It’s more big government wasteful schemes in the name of fixing traffic problems! Furthermore, you have the Nashville MTO telling surrounding counties what to do. It’s all just more agenda 21 type crap.

  3. Victor Andrews says

    I appreciate those that are on the front lines of the battle in our traffic congestion, but unfortunately, I think there is a big misconception that is being put forth by those on these ‘transit authorities’. First, no one is denying that the Nashville SMSA will grow, but I think many times the numbers these folks throw out are meant to ‘scare’ folks into action. And again, unfortunately ‘action’ means supporting ‘big government transportation’ options that have not, do not and will not work! The only thing most of the mass transit options offer are higher taxes, bigger government and more gridlock! Can anyone point to 1 or more successful government owned and control mass transit systems? Few if any are self funding, but rather they are subsidized heavily by the non-rider tax payers…this is not a good model.

    If Mr. Bland means what he says, ‘Everything is on the table’, then we ought to be looking to the private sector for the larger part of this solution, NOT THE TAXPAYER! And, with the technological future ahead, large employers in the downtown area, including government ought to be encouraging better and less expensive ideas like ‘tele-commuting’, off and odd hour commutes, non-traditional work weeks and days (why do these large employers require everyone of the employees to start work at the same time?). There have to be better ideas out there than tired and broke, tax payer subsidized mass transit systems!

  4. Mary Jo Holmes says

    Since Disneyland was built in the 50’s we’ve known about monorail systems – yet here we are 65 years later without even as much as a good rail system in Nashville. Thank you so much for at least addressing this issue and trying to coordinate some plan to move forward. I believe a train system, Like Mt Juliet’s Star, would be most cost effective and utilized. I live off Hwy.76 in White House. There is a lot of building in our area underway and many future commuters looking for quick and affordable transportation. In addition, special trains could run downtown for concerts, games and other weekend venues. I’m excited that you are bringing this to the table and am anxious for the end result. Thank you.

  5. Jennifer Pennington says

    The responses above are seriously written by various informed people. The bottom line is that most MTA/RTA planning has been done by those who have no commuting experience. The result is millions of wasted $. First, you need to realistically calculate what the cure for the current system will cost before floating more irrational dreams into the limited $ pot and calling it progress.

    Since you already know this will take years to straighten out, you might want to stop pushing for TOD development that will leave people stranded. Since sidewalks are certainly needed for all types of transit, you might allocate funding for that, even though MTA/RTA are “unrelated” to this issue as a gov’t entity…you could at least mention it in your publications or write to other agencies.

    One of the biggest gov’t problems we have is agencies operating in vacuums so plans are doomed to conflict/stalemate/waste $

    • Lee Stepp says

      We just returned from Portland, Oregon. They have a huge rail system with good lines, however, the traffic remains a gridlock every day. It took us 45 minutes to drive 12 miles on a 5 lane highway – every day for 6 days. BART was full of empty seats every time it passed us.

      Please, improve our highway system. It will help truckers, who are a large part of congestion and accidents, going through since we connect to so many states. Rails will not alleviate that problem at all. How about a specific truck route?

  6. Sandra says

    I thought the report was thorough in its assessment of the system’s shortcomings and future needs. It is nice to see something written that takes into account transit users as people, not just as $$ centers- not owning a car or being able to operate one shouldn’t mean you have to live with less access to basic needs or opportunities or live with less dignity.
    My first question is: Why does the transit system function like they don’t know the results of the report-they have poor customer service, ignore requests, and their every 6 month shuffling of schedules seems to be in some cases determined to drive riders away intentionally. there is a disconnect between this process and the day to day agency.
    Question 2. I didn’t see where you HAVE to have the service growing with or ahead of population, if it is an option as people move into an area you will see more use. Stick with the vision, don’t do bad half service that gets a bad reputation. Counting the beans too soon leads to micromanagement and less effective service long term.

  7. Hendersone says

    I am currently in the Priest Lake area and although I have transportation, I still ride the bus 40% of the time. I ride the bus to save money due to the fluctuating gas prices and to avoid a lot of stress which is what the current drive in to my occupation on the expressway offers. The current route you have available for the Priest Lake, Stewarts Ferry, Antioch and Elm Hill communities is the 38X. The sad issue is that this generic route takes me two hours to get to work. If I have to stay late or run errands, I have to drive in because the last bus leaves at 5:10 p.m. Therefore, no one wants to get a bus at 5:37 or 5:59 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. find that they cannot get home unless they call a taxi. If you establish a decent route in these areas and reassure the public that this route is dedicated to the consumer’s needs, your revenue would increase significantly. No one wants to change their schedule to ride the bus and you take it off the route in 3 to 6 months. The consumers have no confidence in the service.
    Also I don’t know why you complain about limited revenue or funding, because we all know that in business you will have to spend money to make money. When there are events downtown, the MTA system should be transporting people from every corner in Nashville, Antioch, Nolensville, Donaldson, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Franklin. Leave the parking industry to obtain revenue from the people who come from out of state or surrounding counties which is still a hefty profit. This would present an establish venue for MTA profit, less of a traffic problem downtown, less drunk driving incidents and those consumers who do not want to ride the bus can still ride Uber and other taxi services. There is enough revenue for everyone; if you would take the time to confirm who your potential clients are that need and will use your services. Once you have established your clientele, supply them with all you have to offer and they will become loyal clients. It would be great if you people would start earning your hefty pay checks and figure this out for the people of Tennessee before we drown.

  8. Roger B. says

    With the decision to close the Lo Jack site in Murfreesboro, due to the riders concern regarding safety in crossing being expressed leading to that closure, bus transport is even more difficult. I now face a 12 mile commute across Murfreesboro and getting back to the location I started from so far at 7 pm . I think the use of the OLD Fort Park park as a park and ride is good, but high usage may leave riders there when it is full before getting on the interstate. If 96X could also start there or travel to the site the extra riders may be able to make it but that would require a schedule and route change. Presently in the afternoon I face a three hour commute from metro center with getting off at work riding route 9 to the station and catching 84X. i must arrive by 5 am in hopes of getting a ride that will get me to MEtro center by 730 which I can live with. The current fix also means that the 96X and the Murf. Express do not have a common park and ride and now we cannot have that as an option if one bus is loaded and can no longer take riders waiting.

    I hope (and pray) that a better more central located site for a park and ride and reschedule of routes will occur. I realize that the new schedules have to be worked out and eagerly await this to settle down so I again can use RTA. Now it just takes too long to ride the bus….. I hope this can be worked out.

  9. says

    I have commented before…no reply…the numbers27 and 6 routes only run Mon to fri…no weekends,no holidays…so if you live in hermitage,good luck trying to get around…whoever made the schedule is a idiot,it’s supposed to be mass transit,not,we will come get you when we feel like it transit

  10. Andy Borchers says

    I found the report to be interesting and a fairly balanced statement of where we are. I’m a very satisfied Music City Star rider – but I am fortunate that the service just happens to fit my schedule and geography. Freeway BRT sounds like the quickest way to move forward and create early success. Anything that requires rails in the ground will surely take time and require a lot of patience. One point I find interesting in Figure 46 is the amount of travel that doesn’t include downtown. It would seem that BRT Lite with last mile service would seem to address this. Can employers in places like Cool Springs and Murfreesboro buy into providing last mile service (mentioned on page 76)? It would seem that RTA could transport people to an area with lots of employment – and employers could transport folks to their specific workplace.
    Regards – Andy

  11. Jan says

    Again, the East corridor is basically ignored. I may be crazy, but with all of the construction going on in the Mt. Juliet area, especially around Providence, I don’t understand why it doesn’t seem that you are considering expanding in that area.

    There are several communities that fit your “older” population criteria.

    Are you taking into consideration those that are local or semi-local who have loved ones in the hospitals, what about the various doctors, labs and trial companies? This is something that isn’t always typical in other cities.

    If I could be guaranteed to be in from Mt. Juliet to Metro Center by 6:45 each day and able to leave between 4 & 4:15 each day, I would already be using the service.

  12. says

    The customer service in the vanpool program is inadequate. They are very difficult to reach by phone, and have not responded to any of my questions via email. I work with clients who would greatly benefit from the vanpool program, but arranging it with the people in the program has been nearly impossible.