[IMAGE]Nashville-flooding-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Approximately 25 bus routes and the Music City Star are in service this week as the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) continues to ramp up services after last week’s historic flooding. Rides on MTA buses are still free.
“Our staff has been working to get all buses back in service as quickly as possible,” MTA/RTA Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Ballard said. “We truly appreciate how helpful the Metro Nashville Public Schools and other Metro agencies have been during this difficult time. In addition, our transit colleagues have been extremely supportive in loaning vehicles to us so that we can continue to provide services.”
In the coming days, customers will see different vehicles operating on the MTA routes since so many transit organizations are assisting MTA with loaned vehicles.
MTA has received or will receive the following loaner vehicles from transit agencies:
• 25 buses from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) in Cincinnati.
• 12 high-top vans and two staff cars from Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency.
• 10 vans from the Knoxville CAC.
• Five buses from the Memphis Area Transit Authority.
• Three paratransit vans from Clarksville Transit System.
• Two staff cars and one pickup truck from the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority.
• One sedan from the Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency.
“In times of crisis, transit systems provide vital support to relief efforts,” said Marilyn Shazor, CEO of the Cincinnati's SORTA. “Metro is responding to Nashville’s pressing need for transit buses for their emergency relief efforts, as we would want other transit systems to help Cincinnati in a catastrophic situation like this.”
Sixty buses and vans are operating on the Saturday schedule that is in effect compared to the usual 147 dispatched during weekday service. Nearly 200 bus operators are on duty this week.
Music City Circuit buses resumed meeting the Music City Star train at Riverfront Station on Monday and are operating on a Saturday schedule. In addition, the Music City Star and RTA’s Route 96X Nashville/Murfreesboro Relax and Ride also resumed service and fares are being collected as usual.
Customers who are eligible for MTA’s AccessRide van services began booking reservations for emergency medical trips such as dialysis last week. Customers also can book reservations for work trips, but not site trips.
Routes and frequencies will continue to increase in subsequent days as maintenance and support facilities are established and equipped. During this transition period the fares are free on all Nashville MTA buses.