Dean, Ballard announce 'Fareless Friday' to encourage bus ridership

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:51pm
Staff reports

City officials want Nashvillians to hop on the bus — for free, for a day. 

Mayor Karl Dean and Paul Ballard, CEO of the Metro Transit Authority, said Thursday they’re encouraging those who don’t normally ride public transportation to try unlimited free rides all day on March 9.

Dean and Ballard announced “Fareless Friday,” an attempt to boost ridership, Thursday morning at Five Points in East Nashville.

“I am a regular rider and take the bus as often as possible,” Dean said. “I am convinced that if more people tried it, they would appreciate the many benefits and convenience just like I do. By offering a free bus day, I hope to encourage a large number of Nashvillians to leave their cars at home and ride on MTA buses.”

The free rides will begin in the early morning on Friday, March 9, when the first bus departs the MTA garage, and will end when buses complete their final runs late Friday night.

According to MTA, ridership through the first six months of fiscal year 2012 is up 16 percent compared to the same time last year, with more than 4.6 million passenger-trips taken.

MTA operates about 40 bus routes across the city. For information on bus routes, go to

3 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 2/24/12 at 11:12

So everyone jump on a bus, Go the two or three or four miles on foot from your home to a bus stop and ride it all the way to downtown. Stay there all day, watch the occupy protesters, enjoy the honky tonks, visit the historic LandPort and Church Street Mall sites. Walk the pedestrian bridge that was damaged during the filming of the "Save A Horse, Raide A Cowboy" video.

You will need to take a vacation day since the Nashville bus system does not connect the homes and work places for most Nashvillians, but you will be doing it for the environment and to drive up the ridership numbers for federal grant applications. A little time on a bus on March 9 will translate to millions of dollars for even more expensive and inflexible rail cars down the road. Do your part in getting trains for our picture post cards.

By: JayBee56 on 2/24/12 at 10:11

Agreed, JeffF. Don't bother us with facts. :-)

By: govskeptic on 2/26/12 at 10:55

Does that mean one more day of deficit revenue for the property owners to
make up in the budget and expected tax increase. Government leaders that
can just "give away things" , at no cost to themselves, must get a near sexual
thrill run up their legs!