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Nashville Transit Referendum Soundly Beaten at the Ballot Box

Transit advocates suffered a resounding defeat in Nashville yesterday. The Let's Move Nashville plan does not have the funding to build-out its ambitiously pro-transit agenda.
May 2, 2018, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Downtown Freeway
Alexey Repka

"Nashville voters on Tuesday rejected a plan to raise four taxes to pay for a $5.4 billion transit plan," reports Joey Garrison.

The election was never close, even after the referendum won support from the Tennessean's editorial board a few weeks before the election.

We expect more commentary about the failure of the transit referendum to emerge in the coming days and weeks, but for now, there are reports of the opposition funding that flowed to the campaign in recent months. Angie Schmitt sounded alarms about the Koch Brothers and "dark money" influencing the campaign in April.

Writing for the Tennessean in a separate article, Alex Hubbard pins some of the blame for the loss on the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry, who was an early and active supporter of the Let's Move Nashville Plan.

Finally, the critics have certainly had their say. In the source article, Garrison summarizes the opposition, with a reference to self-driving cars.

Critics have called light rail antiquated and have contended it wouldn't do anything to cut down on traffic congestion. They've pointed to Nashville's dwindling bus ridership, the decline of ridership of legacy transit in other cities, and advancement in technology of self-driving cars, which they say will make transit obsolete.

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Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 in Tennessean
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