Speaker Harwell voices opposition against AMP

Speaker Harwell voices opposition against AMP (Image 1)

There's more opposition to the proposed AMP bus rapid transit project through the heart of Nashville.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, whose district includes a portion of the proposed route, is voicing opposition to using state funding to build the 7.1 mile bus system from Five Points in east Nashville to the St. Thomas Hospital area in west Nashville.

Speaker Harwell told News 2 Friday the state has other priorities that have been on the backlog longer.

“It's really a city issue as to whether this should be done,” Speaker Harwell said. “Except they are requesting state funding. And that's where I get involved.”

In fact, Metro is asking for about $35 million from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to help with the estimated $175 million price tag for AMP.

Speaker Harwell says TDOT has about a $5 billion backlog of projects that should take priority over the proposed AMP.

Mayor Karl Dean said the plan would cut down on traffic and connect two sides of town.

But some residents and businesses have voiced opposition to the idea.

“There is additional research that needs to be done,” said Speaker Harwell. “But I have not seen a lot of support from the very people we would hope would be riding the bus. And so until we get a little more neighborhood buy-in, I don't know how successful it can be.”

The AMP project would largely be funded by the federal government.

For more information, visit NashvilleMTA-AMP.org.

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