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MTA asks Nashville mayor for 427% capital budget increase

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The Metro Transit Authority asked Nashville Mayor Megan Barry for a 427 percent capital budget increase on Monday.

MTA CEO Steve Bland says this is an early step in making the $6 billion nMotion plan to improve transit over the next 25 years a reality.

"This is just sort of an opening entree if you will into that discussion," Bland said.

The MTA asked the mayor for $10 million dollars more in next year's operating budget, and $85 million more than its existing $20 million in its capital spending budget.

MTA discussed costs of replacing on-bus payment systems, which would cost about $11,000 a piece at the budget presentation. MTA outlines the pros and cons of the cash-less mass-transit, day passes and mobile pay, saying it would impact low-income riders. Tight now, MTA says about 40 percent of riders pay in cash.

The nMotion plan takes into account population growth over the next 25 years. It calls for more bus routes and rails.

"An underground would probably be a bigger undertaking and take longer so if there was a light rail I think that would be a really great option," said Arianna Alonzo, who is visiting Nashville from San Francisco.

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Meanwhile. MTA also discussed President Trump's visit further. Music City Central will be closed all day Wednesday for the president's visit. No parking will be available. A detailed announcement is expected to be released Monday afternoon. Barry said the decision to close the MCC hub wasn't Metro's, but rather the Secret Service.

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