More commuters turn to Music City Star as Nashville traffic worsens

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While city and regional leaders look at the future of transportation in the Nashville area, the Music City Star stands out as one of the success stories in public transit.

For the most part, Nashville is a car town. The result is gridlock just about every morning and afternoon.

But on the Music City Star, commuters are on time. Some even enjoy the daily ride.

“It’s been really nice not having to sit bumper to bumper,” said commuter Jason Siemon. “I can still do work, check my work email, read a book occasionally. Yeah I don’t have the stress of watching the traffic or getting in an accident.”

(Photo: WKRN)

About 1,000 people ride the Music City Star per weekday. That number is growing by around 3 percent annually.

Since the Star began operating in 2006, roughly 2.5 million people have taken the ride.

The rail stretches from Lebanon in Wilson County to Nashville’s riverfront.

Amanda Clelland with Nashville MTA and RTA says the increase in ridership can partially be attributed to heavier traffic.

“It goes along 32 miles. And it spans the same 32 miles that sees a lot of congestion that continues to get worse every day,” Clelland said. “So a lot of people are turning to the Music City Star as a viable option.”

The Music City Star’s ridership is only expected to increase in the future as Nashville struggles to keep up with the worsening traffic.

The Regional Transportation Authority has recently wrapped up a Northwest Corridor Study, which explores the possibility of a commuter train between Nashville and Clarksville. No plans are in place yet.

Follow our Nashville 2017 coverage about the city’s growth, the issues that come with it, and how people are tackling them.

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