Last year, Nashville’s MTA Board approved the $6 billion nMotion public transit plan, which features light rail lines along several major corridors, beginning with Gallatin Pike.
Nashville needs better public transportation. However, the experience of other cities shows us that the cost of living skyrockets along the corridors where new rail lines are built. The latest housing report from the Mayor’s office highlights the depth of our housing crisis. According to the mayor, 31,000 affordable housing units must be built by 2025 to meet the needs of our residents. Before starting a $6 billion project, Nashvillians must ensure we ALL have a place to live.
The experience of other cities also shows us that bus lines to low-income neighborhoods are oftentimes eliminated to cover the enormous expense of building and maintaining rail lines. As bus riders, we need major expansion of lines into our communities, and with more frequency.
In Nashville, billions of our tax dollars have been spent on major infrastructure projects, from the Music City Center to stadiums and hotels. Unfortunately, none of these projects have included guarantees of decent wages, safe working conditions, and career opportunities for construction workers or for the permanent workers who maintain the buildings. We can do better.
Democracy Nashville, Homes for All Nashville, Music City Riders United, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1235 have joined together to launch the People’s Alliance for Transit, Housing, and Employment (PATHE).
As Nashvillians, we want to ensure that our communities will actually benefit from nMotion and new transit lines. Before any funding for the nMotion transit plan is approved, the PATHE Coalition is asking that our city officials to provide a detailed plan to meet the community’s needs, including the following:
What we want:
- Expand to 24-hour bus service.
- Expand bus service to neighborhoods with growing transit-dependent workers, including Antioch, Hermitage, and Madison.
- No cuts to existing bus routes.
- Build 31,000 low-income homes now.
- All public funding for residential development dedicated to 0-60% of Median Household Income.
- Don’t sell off any public property along transit corridors.
- Place all land taken through Eminent Domain in a 99 year public land trust (not sold to private development).
- Allot public funding to maintain existing low-income housing in transit corridors.
- Only use construction contractors and subcontractors who pay a living wage and benefits.
- Dedicate city funds for certified apprenticeship programs targeting communities along transit corridors and in Promise Zones.
- Pay a living wage to all rail employees (at least $15/hr) & right to unionize without retaliation.
Mayor Megan Barry is drafting a public referendum to fund the $6 billion nMotion transit plan. She plans to present it to Metro Council this fall for approval. If the referendum is approved by a two-thirds majority vote, it will go before Davidson County voters as early as May 2018. We are asking that Metro Council members only vote in favor of a referendum that includes a detailed community plan insuring all of our demands above.
We will be launching an extensive outreach campaign very soon. We need YOU to make sure that our city is accountable to the people. If you want to,
- VOLUNTEER for outreach
- HOST a P.A.T.H.E info meeting with your community group/church/organization
- JOIN our coalition
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-750-5027 to get plugged in!