Nashville bus riders want to up safety with additional crosswalks, shelters, benches

FOX 17 News

Whether you bike, ride the bus or drive in and around Nashville, many people admit the city has a traffic problem.

Now Music City Riders United is calling on city leaders to dedicate funding to bus service in Nashville. The group released its Bus Route Report Card Wednesday.

“Nashville’s WeGo public transit system is not adequately serving the city’s workforce and ridership, and Metro Nashville Public Works and the Tennessee Department of Transportation are failing riders in providing pedestrian safety at bus stops,” says the report.

The group conducted 619 surveys, asking riders to grade nine of the city’s bus stops using letters A through F. Riders graded on parameters such as bus stop proximity to their home, buses showing up on time, frequency of rides on weekends and weekdays, etc.

Of the nine bus stops surveyed, only one received a grade of B. The other routes ranked C+ and below.

“As a bus rider and a bike rider, one of the things that I often come in contact with as an issue is trying to get across the street,” says rider A Randolph. “This is especially problematic as a bus rider because often there aren’t sufficient crosswalks, especially ones with lights telling cars that you need to stop.”

Riders would like to see more crosswalks, lighting and signage at bus stops. The MCRU report says 30 people were hit by cars each month in 2018, 24 people were killed. The report also finds disparities between high and low income neighborhoods.

“According to the results of the riders’ Bus Route Report Card surveys, routes that serve lower income and communities of color score much lower than those that serve affluent neighborhoods,” the report states.

Riders are calling on funding for better service for the city’s working class.

“That means we need service that goes 24-hours per day in order to service all of our city’s workforce,” says Sam Schaefer with Music City Riders United. “[That workforce] works around the clock to keep the city booming economically. It’s especially important for our night shift workers.”

Mayor Briley’s administration hasn’t responded to the report specifically, but has said in the past that improving bus service and other transit in Nashville is a top priority.

The city does have the nMotion Transit Plan which details strategic recommendations and key actions for improving transit in Middle Tennessee. You can view the plan here.

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