Connect Mid TN Coalition Relaunches with a Vision of Transportation Options for all Middle Tennesseans
Connect Mid TN Coalition’s nineteen members work together to focus on near-term improvements, dedicated funding, and city- or region-wide policy reform.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 1, 2019) – One year after the defeat of the Davidson County transit referendum, a group of non-profits, businesses and civic groups has launched Connect Mid TN, a coalition committed to improving the region’s transportation systems for all Middle Tennesseans.
The Connect Mid-TN coalition is committed to a vision of reliable, affordable and diverse transportation options for all Middle Tennesseans. The coalition will use its member groups’ platforms to coordinate educational, engagement, and advocacy efforts, focusing on near-term transportation improvements, dedicated funding and city- and region-wide policy reform to support transportation choice.
“In the year since the transit referendum defeat, the need for transportation options has only grown. Our region needs options for residents to get to employment and education, to maintain and improve their quality of life. Transit Now is pleased to be a part of the Connect Mid TN coalition, adding to the conversation our community must have on improving mobility options,” said Emery Hartz, President of Transit Now Nashville.
“We hear the mobility challenges that our senior citizens face,” said Rebecca Kelly, State Director of AARP TN, a Connect Mid TN member. “It’s not just about making a doctor’s appointment. It’s about being able to work, to shop, to socialize, to keep up with family and friends. Mobility is critical to the region’s seniors and we need more options.”
Music City Riders United are also a member of the Connect Mid-TN Coalition, noted Anglique Johnson of MCRU. “Current riders of Nashville’s transit system know what is working well and where we need to invest to make improvements for transit-dependent riders and draw new riders. We need racial and economic equity in transit, and that means longer service hours, more frequent service, crosstown routes and bus service into transit deserts outside the urban core where an increasing number of Nashvillians have been displaced to by rising rents. Coming to the table with Connect Mid TN amplifies bus riders' voice and shows the breadth of commitment by wide-ranging organizations for better transit options.”
“Getting and maintaining a leviable wage job starts with dependable cost-effective transportation,” said Clifton Harris with the Urban League. Harris also said, “that a trained workforce that has access to reliable transportation options on a daily basis give Nashvillians the opportunity to solve housing, healthcare, daycare and other quality of life issues. “
"Accessible transportation options are the key to independence and community life for people with disabilities. The Tennessee Disability Coalition is proud to partner with Connect Mid-TN to work on solutions that support independence and access to opportunities for all,” said Carol Westlake, Executive Director of the Tennessee Disability Coalition.
Harry Allen, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce member, noted, “Studio Bank is focused on empowering and building a community of opportunity and growth. Transportation is critical to accessing opportunity and making the most of growth. Our employees deserve to have multiple options besides sitting in traffic to access not only our business, but have full access to the opportunities our city has to offer.”
Connect Mid TN Coalition member Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee noted that the Coalition is open to any and all groups that support its goals and want to add to the conversation on transportation options in the near term and long term for the region.