When Craighead became mayor four years ago, he said that about 500 local residents commuted to work via the Music City Star. That number has now increased to 1,200, and with rising fuel costs, he anticipates the number of riders on the train to rise.
Tennessee Department of Transportation Director Liza Joffrion said that a study of the proposal would be worthwhile.
Wednesday was only the first in what Craighead hopes will be a series of meetings to discuss the possibilities. This is only a discussion. We are trying to pick up on peoples experience, he said.
They also discussed various ways to fund the development. One way could be by applying for and receiving a U.S. Department of Transportations TIGER grant next year. Joffrion said that through this program, $500 million has been provided to 47 projects in 34 states.
It is extremely competitive. There are many excellent projects out there, she explained.
Craighead said yesterday that he received a lot of positive feedback at the event. It was an impressive group of leaders who are excited about the possibilities and effects a better transit system will have on their community, he said. If we can come up with a little bit (of funds) and the state chip in too, we might get the numbers that would help us justify what we feel would be a good investment.
The next step, he said, will be forming a committee and master plan.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.