It is a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) line that connects Nashville from east to west: The AMP is a "bus rapid transit" system that will run
along the busy 7.1-mile corridor that stretches from Five Points in East Nashville to the Saint Thomas Hospital area in West Nashville.
It will allow residents and visitors to move along the corridor faster than they can in a car stuck in traffic.
BRT combines the quality of rail transit with the cost-effectiveness of rapid buses:
The AMP will operate in dedicated lanes, which means it will not get stuck in traffic. BRT vehicles will stop at attractive and permanent rail-like stations with real-time arrival information and an off-board fare collection system that will speed up the boarding of customers. BRT equipment for this project will be brand new high-tech, environmentally friendly vehicles and will make the ridership experience quick, comfortable and easy.
It will provide fast, frequent service to more than 1.6 million riders in the first year of operation:
The AMP will run at least every 10 minutes during peak weekday hours.
Conservative estimates found that first-year ridership will average 1.6 million.
Once the system is running and Nashville experiences the benefits of a new level of mass transit,
ridership is projected to increase by 55 percent in the first five year.
It will serve as an important economic-development engine: The AMP
will help attract new jobs and new residents to our city and Middle Tennessee region.
The experience of other cities tells us that areas surrounding transit stations often become desirable
locations for companies seeking an easy commute for their workers and for businesses that thrive on a regular influx of
visitors and customers.
Our population is growing:
Our region's population is growing quickly; it is expected to increase by 850,000 people by 2035—which will make our region bigger than the Denver area is today.
More people mean more traffic:
By 2035, traffic is expected to increase by 50 percent at some key intersections along the Broadway/West End corridor. If we do nothing to alleviate congestion, drivers along the corridor will be stuck in traffic much longer than they are today.
Commuting in Nashville is already expensive and time-consuming:
The average household in the Nashville region spends nearly 25 percent of its income—far more than the national average—on transportation, and the average person in our region loses about 35 hours and wastes 10 gallons of fuel per year sitting in traffic. A 2010 study by CEOs for Cities determined that, taking into account both traffic delays and travel distances, Nashville has one of the worst commutes in the nation.
The AMP is designed to accommodate pedestrians, automobile traffic, bicycle riders and bus rapid transit (BRT).
Multi-modal elements are a key part of Mayor Karl Dean's "Complete Streets" program.
It serves as our region's "Main Street":
More than any other corridor in Middle Tennessee, the Broadway/West End corridor brings together universities, hospitals, businesses, tourist attractions,
residential areas and government centers. From St. Thomas Hospital to LP Field, from the state capitol to the restaurants in Five Points,
from Vanderbilt University to the honky-tonks of Lower Broadway, everyone has a reason to use this vital corridor.
It is one of the densest areas in the region:
Approximately 25,200 people residing in 13,450 households live along the corridor today. That is nearly 2,300 people per square mile, an average density that is about double that of Metro Nashville as a whole.
It is becoming even denser: The corridor's population is expected to increase by 24 percent by 2035, adding nearly 8,500 residents. The largest growth is forecasted for downtown Nashville, which is expected to grow by 162 percent in that timeframe.
The AMP will be frequent, convenient and reliable when people need it most:
Service hours have not been finalized yet, but the AMP will be readily available during heavy commute times,
such as rush hour, on weekends and at night.
Dedicated lanes for transit vehicles:
The corridor will be reorganized, adding two dedicated travel lanes (along 80 percent of the route)
for rapid transit vehicles and emergency vehicles only. On-street parking will be converted to travel
lanes and some minor widening will be done to maintain traffic flow.
There will be longer turn lanes and protected U-turns:
A new system of synchronized traffic signals will be installed to keep traffic flowing,
and protected U-turns will be allowed so drivers can turn into their neighborhoods, retail,
restaurants and other businesses. Each intersection with a traffic light will accommodate protected
left and U-turns with longer turn lanes.
Bicycle riders will be accommodated by this project:
The "Complete Streets" program and bus rapid transit vehicles with curb-level boarding will make
it easier to bring bicycles on board and stow them while riding.
The AMP will cost an estimated $174 million,
funded through a combination of federal, state and local dollars.
Federal funding is essential for the project to move forward. During 2013, the Nashville MTA expects to enter project development in the Small Starts program of the Federal Transit Administration,
beginning the process to seek federal funding to cover up to $75 million of the project. The remainder of the project
will be funded through state and local dollars.
Rapid transit is a sound investment for Nashville.
Operating costs for the AMP are projected to be less than 5 percent of MTA's
system-wide operation costs, yet rapid transit will carry more than 15 percent of MTA's total ridership by 2016.
It serves as the backbone of our regional mass-transit efforts:
Regional leaders are working hard to find ways to provide more transit options and ease congestion on the roads
leading to and from Nashville. The AMP will provide vital connections to those who take mass transit into the city. Plus, this full-service BRT concept could be replicated on other major corridors in Middle Tennessee.
We are in the second phase of a three-phase federal process: Earlier this year, the Nashville MTA completed an Alternatives Analysis—the first phase of the process required for projects seeking federal funding. We are now in the second phase, the Preliminary Engineering and Environmental analysis, which will finalize where the route will run and where the stops will be located, among other things. The final phase is the Design and Build phase, which will likely begin in spring of 2013. If all three phases are completed on time, the East-West Connector will open for service in mid-2015.
Public involvement plays a key role: The public will have several opportunities to weigh-in during this second phase of the process. Starting in July, the Transit Alliance and the Nashville MTA will host well-publicized community meetings to discuss the project and hear from Nashvillians and people from across Middle Tennessee.
The AMP is part of a national trend: All over the country—from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to downtown Chicago—transit professionals are developing BRT lines instead of new rail or street car lines. At the same time, cities that have already constructed BRT systems are seeing significant ridership growth and the development of transit-oriented developments that are generating new economic investments along BRT corridors.
Cleveland's BRT has generated significant economic investment:
Since opening in 2008, Cleveland's Healthline system has helped spur approximately $4.3 billion in new investment along its 6.8-mile corridor.
Las Vegas' BRT helps move residents and visitors:
Las Vegas' MAX system, which began in 2004, connects residents and visitors to employment and resort areas along the Las Vegas Strip and beyond.
Eugene, Oregon's BRT far exceeded ridership expectations: Eugene's EmX system hit 20-year ridership projections in its first year and has been open since 2007.