Moving Forward recently released a Regional Coordination Study.
Moving Forward is a working group of area business leaders focused on expanding mobility options in the Middle Tennessee region. This committee is grounded by their core values: accountability, collaboration, equity, regionalism, and urgency. After several months of conversations and deep dialogue between representatives from seven peer regions (either comparable and/or aspirational) about how regional transit is coordinated, governed, and funded in their region, the Moving Forward Mobility Policy Task Force has released a report.
The report contrasts eight regions: Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Raleigh, Seattle, and the Twin Cities. It has an infographic that compares size, population, transit provided, dedicated funding, and governance at-a-glance.
With a current look at the Nashville region, the report goes on to more specific comparisons in terms of regional coordination, planning, funding, construction, and operations of regional transit providers. All the findings are in the report and each section gives a great level of detail of how each region currently operates to provide regional transit to its residents.
The conclusion of Moving Forward’s Regional Coordination Study may surprise a few: the report shows that there is not one single way to create, operate, and provide regional transit. Which is good news for Music City.
Turns out that using the Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO (a federally required regional planning organization), for planning and relying on inter-governmental agreements to work across jurisdictions has proven highly successful for some sister regions.
Translation: we have what it takes to create and maintain regional transit in terms of governance and planning. The report goes on . . .
The Nashville area has several regional organizations currently coordinating and working together in some capacity: the Regional Transit Authority (RTA/WeGo Public Transit), the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus. Our region also has the GNRC’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) with the kickoff to an updated RTP, to be called the Unified Transportation Plan, in October 2019. (more news on kickoff)
It’s all very good news, indeed. Well, except one little thing . . . wait for it.
Nashville is the only region in the study without dedicated funding. In fact, Nashville could be the last city of its size without a dedicated funding stream for transit.
What makes dedicated funding so special? We’ll address that on another day. For now, enjoy reading the Moving Forward Regional Coordination Study.
Note: the Transit Alliance is a member of Moving Forward.