Lawmaker hopes corridor to Rutherford is next up in regional transit plan

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of the texts Democratic Nashville Mayor Megan Barry received Wednesday after her proposal for a light rail plan in the Gallatin Road corridor was from Republican State Senator Bill Ketron, who hopes Rutherford County is next up for some kind of rapid transit as part of an overall plan for Middle Tennessee.

“We may be opposite on many things, but we are close on this issue of creating a regional issue,” he told News 2. “And she texted back she wants to help all the surrounding counties like Rutherford, Williamson, Sumner and Wilson.”

How exactly that would play out for those other counties could take years, if not decades, say most observers, but Sen. Ketron says there is other work that could begin now.

Sen. Bill Ketron (Photo: WKRN)

“We have got to start buying land now,” the lawmaker urged.

Sen. Ketron said he has told Mayor Barry how he views the transit issue.

“I told her I don’t care how we get there, either light rail or monorail, down the middle of I-24… We have to do something. We have 100 people a day moving here,” added the lawmaker. “The MTSU basketball team we honored in the Senate today took 90 minutes to get here leaving Murfreesboro at 7 a.m.”

Along with a potential light rail or monorail system going down the median of I-24, Ketron suggested existing lines from Murfreesboro to Nashville might be used, but that would require permission from CSX, the rail freight company that now uses the lines.

The state lawmaker said he and the mayor have also discussed where potential stations in Nashville where the trains would come in from Rutherford County.

They include the Gulch area behind Union Station and even The Fairgrounds which both have current rail systems.