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Details on the Drastic Legislative Efforts to Block BRT in Nashville
“Tennessee lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor a bill that bans the construction of bus rapid transit (BRT) anywhere in the state,” reports Keith Barry for Wired.
There is some difference between the bill the Senate wants and the bill the House wants, and several additional approval steps will be necessary: “The Senate version of the BRT ban [SB 2243] also forbids buses from 'loading or discharging passengers at any point within the boundary lines of a state highway or state highway right-of-way not adjacent to the right-hand, lateral curb line.' Though the House struck that provision and sent revised legislation back to the Senate, it would still require special approval from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and local government bodies.”
One problematic aspect of SB 2243 is the corporate interest backing the ban on public transit: “After the vote, Amp opponents revealed that the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, founded with the support of brothers Charles and David Koch, had lobbied in favor of the bus ban.”
Barry’s article is strongly polemic, calling the bill “mind boggling.” An earlier article by Tanya Snyder calls the bill “extreme short-sighted stupidity.” Chas Sisk also reported on the original Senate vote for The Tennessean in March.