If you have never used public transportation, it can seem like a daunting task. With most public transportation, like buses and subways, there can be a negative stigma placed on this form of travel that may give those unfamiliar a pang of hesitation about utilizing this service. But don’t worry! There is nothing to fear. Public transportation in Middle TN is safe, efficient, and an affordable way to travel. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is the organization that handles all public bus, van, and train routes in Middle TN and they currently operate 96 routes with over 850,000 annual riders. Once making yourself familiar with the different bus options and routes outlined in this article, you’ll be ready to take advantage of this inexpensive and useful form of transportation.
Ride for Free!
Want a free all-day bus pass? Advance Financial is proud to join forces with the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (J.U.M.P) organization to provide a free one-day pass for any MTA bus route. To redeem your free one-day pass you will first need to pick up a card at the J.U.M.P building, 1215 9th Ave North, Ste. 200 Nashville, TN 37208. With the card you can then pick up your all day bus pass at the Advance Financial Jefferson Street store location, 800 Jefferson St, Nashville, TN 37208.
Music City Star Rail Train
The Music City Star is the regional rail train for middle TN and is run by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The train connects Davidson and Wilson County with six stations located at Riverfront, Donelson, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Martha, and Lebanon. The train operates in conjunction with the MTA bus routes, so getting to your destination should never be an issue. To see all connecting bus routes to train stations click here and to see all train station schedules click here. As far as prices, a monthly pass ranges from $67.25 to $176.50 based on the train station location. If you break that cost down, it comes to around $2.25-$5.80 a day. Comparing that price to the price of gas, vehicle upkeep, and parking in downtown, taking the train might in fact be the less expensive option when it comes to transportation expenses. The option to purchase single tickets is also available if you don’t find it necessary to purchase a monthly pass. Click here to purchase a Music City Star ticket or monthly pass.
Music City Circuit Bus
The Music City Circuit is a free bus and van service that travels two routes, the Green Circuit and the Blue Circuit. And yes, you read that right. It is 100% FREE! This route serves the downtown Nashville area.The Green Circuit stops at main destinations between the Gulch and the Bicentennial Mall area while the Blue Circuit stops at destinations between the Riverfront Station and the Bicentennial Mall area. To see Blue Circuit routes click here and to see the Green Circuit routes click here. The circuit covers over 75 locations in downtown including Bridgestone Arena, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Ryman Auditorium, Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), Farmers’ Market, Country Music Hall of Fame, First Tennessee Park, Historic Second Avenue, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Bicentennial Mall, Gulch bars and restaurants, downtown hotels and other downtown attractions and landmarks. Both the Green and Blue Circuit operate from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. To download an easy to follow pocket guide with a map and schedule of the Music City Circuit, click here.
Bus Rapid Transit
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lite service is a bus route meant to travel through Nashville’s busiest locations faster than the regular routes. This bus service allows more frequent service with less stops. The actual buses also operate with a more environmentally friendly design with most BRT lite routes using the MTA’s 60-foot hybrid buses. The buses give customers more room with less cramped seating. For more information on fares, schedules and routes, click here.
AccessRide is a program specifically set up to provide specialized transportation services to handicapped and disabled individuals who are not able to use the regular bus routes. This service operates from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:45 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on this service and how to submit an application to be accepted into the program, click here.
For more information on all bus routes, fares, and schedules within Middle TN, visit the official Nashville MTA website at www.nashvillemta.org.