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Nashville mayor pledges support for new light-rail system

In her "state of the metro" address, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry laid out a plan to build light rail.
Photo – Barry's website

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry on Wednesday announced plans to work with the area's Metropolitan Council and other partners of the Tennessee city to develop a transit plan that would include a new light-rail system.

In her "state of the metro address," Barry laid out her intention to establish light-rail service on the Gallatin Pike corridor, where there is a high number of transit riders. The corridor also has potential for transit-oriented development, according to a press release issued by Barry's office.

To fund the project, Barry plans to advance a plan to develop a transit referendum for Nashville voters to consider.

"We cannot wait another year to start the process of building our first light rail," Barry said. "We will be a 21st-century, transit-oriented city, and we are not going to look back 10 years from now and say we failed when we had to succeed."

The mayor wants to pursue light-rail lines along five corridors in the region, including the Gallatin Pike.

Barry's plan follows passage of the IMPROVE Act, which allows Nashville and other municipalities to pursue tax referendums to fund transit projects, The Tennessean reported.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/28/2017