Music City Star sets single-month ridership record of nearly 27,000 passenger trips

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 7:46pm
Staff reports

Ridership on the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) Music City Star set a single-month record for ridership with 26,989 passenger trips taken in June, RTA officials announced Monday.  

In June, Music City Star ridership was up 53 percent compared to June 2010.

RTA’s regional bus routes also experienced a significant increase in June, up 30 percent compared to ridership on the same routes a year ago.

Ridership on all RTA services increased 42 percent in June 2011 compared to June 2010. For the year, Music City Star ridership is up 40 percent and ridership on RTA regional bus routes is up 38 percent.

“We are very pleased more people are riding the Music City Star and RTA’s other regional services,” RTA Board Chair Jo Ann Graves said in a release. “Middle Tennesseans realize how affordable the service is and that it’s easy to use. Of course, this creates a greater demand to grow our transportation network, and the board and staff are working very hard on this.”

Train ridership were on the rise in 2011 prior to gas prices spiking earlier this year.

A previous record of 25,321 passenger trips were taken in March, eclipsing the record of 20,465 set one month earlier in February.    

Filed under: City News
Tagged: Music City Star | RTA

14 Comments on this post:

By: joe41 on 7/18/11 at 6:41

Better start planning the Rutherford County extention. It will dwarf these numbers.Joe

By: MusicCity615 on 7/18/11 at 7:13

completely agree Joe.

The route to Lebanon, without any real service at the downtown destination, is setting records, even though much more people would ride if it were to Murfreesboro, Franklin, Clarksville, etc.

This is just more reason to have light rail / streetcar system in downtown and west end area.

By: slzy on 7/18/11 at 7:42

why does'nt CSX run a passenger train from murfreesboro and clarksville?

By: catenarykat on 7/18/11 at 8:33

Because you can't move people like you move freight!

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 6:10

I guess I am curious as to how a train that is failing to meet promised ridership levels even while posting records is a reason to build a streetcar to serve mostly tourists on West End.

The streetcar is more of a payoff to the West End hotels for their support of the convention center too far away from them to be otherwise beneficial to their business.

By: macjedi on 7/19/11 at 7:43


(Where it SHOULD have been built in the first place.)

I wish more people (and many readers/commenters here) had the intellectual grasp to "get" transit like some of us.

By: BigPapa on 7/19/11 at 8:31

I hope this works and I hope it encourages more infrastructure to support the train i.e. more cabs, shuttles, and buses that allow fast and easy access to the rest of the city once you are in downtown.

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 9:56

The hub-and-spoke system has been failing the airlines for almost an entire generation yet elected officials still keep implementing it in order to "redevelop" downtown areas that jsut can seem to make it over the hump into self-sufficiency.

I think that Nashville should take the money (both Nashville's and the entire regions) that it would waste on further hub-and-spoke and other future downtown-oriented transit failures (ahem trolleys) and instead implement a duplicate of the Southwest Airline's network model. Connect all of Nashville and then the entire region to itself rather than let it be used to prop up an inefficient and unimportant downtown focused on tourism rather than real economic growth.

Do Nashville officials even know what the term "cross town bus" even means? Why is it so hard to believe that a person living in Antioch would like to get to their job near Maryland Farms without having to spend an hour going downtown and another hour after the connection getting back South? There are roads going between every location in in Nashville, why are city officials against using them for bus service?

It is time to stop including the economic needs of downtown into the decision making process of essential government services in the rest of the region. It is time for downtown to sink or swim.

By: MusicCity615 on 7/19/11 at 11:26


Please name some cities that you believe have a successful mass transit system. Of those successful cities, please name the ones that don't have mass transit connecting to downtown.

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 2:30

New York
San Francisco/Bay area
They all manage to have transit systems where every vehicle/train does not have the front or back ends pointed toward the tall pointy buildings in downtown. They do include downtown as an important neighborhood in their cities but they realize it is not the only neighborhood with transit needs.

If you were to get out a transit map of Nashville you would see that only one neighborhood has complete access to all of Nashville. That would be downtown. EVERY other neighborhood is left out of the transit system downtown enjoys. Every one of them.

It would take a person with the density of lead to twist my argument into being against transit to downtown. Downtown needs transit, in fact it probably can use it better than most every other neighborhood. Right now though, downtown is getting 100% of the scarce transportation resources and continues to want even more.

Mass transit has grown as much as it can with the downtown-only approach. The majority of people in this city, county, and region are left out of the transit plans because we do live, work, and seek entertainment in downtown Nashville. I am in this number. I would love to abandon my car during the week and take a reasonable bus routing to and from work. Alas I cannot because I am among the 99+% of Nashvillians not living in Downtown and among the 93+% of Nashvillians working a job not in downtown.

With many backwards thinking people this current system is great because they think they are going to persuade/punish people back to the urban squalor paradise from which they and their ancestors escaped after World War II. It is time to progress and create a system not controlled by a few downtown fat cats/bankers/hotel-work-slum owners. Don't hold Nashville back by denying progress to the entire city. Don't be a hater of Nashville's future by imprisoning us on trains headed to downtown.

God Bless America

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 2:38

"The majority of people in this city, county, and region are left out of the transit plans because we do live, work, and seek entertainment in downtown Nashville."

should be:

"The majority of people in this city, county, and region are left out of the transit plans because we do not live, work, and seek entertainment in downtown Nashville."

By: MusicCity615 on 7/19/11 at 5:31


Please read my question.

Of the cities you listed, name the city that began it's mass transit system in the suburbs and NOT downtown. All of those cities started downtown, and eventually expanded to the outer areas.

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 9:27

I understood your question but you have to understand that Nashville is way beyond the "beginning" stage in providing mass transit. We are cursed with people who decry we are new to this in order to keep all benefits in downtown instead of investing in the actual city. The new label is also used by train fan boys and girls to stoke the flames for their "cool", "progressive", but illogical modal of choice that would just happen to run parallel to the dreams of the neourbanistas.

Nashville had the opportunity to go it's own way by not doing the same convention center thing dozens of other cities have already stepped in. Leadership decided to take that decision from us. We really really really need to get people involved in the true transit situation or we will be left with the same expensive, inefficient, rail based systems focused on downtown that have exacerbated problems in the other U.S. cities by not helping most people live in their cities.

By: JeffF on 7/19/11 at 9:33

Also those cities had downtowns of legitimate economic importance and population to justify keeping transit focused there. Nashville does not but we have people focused on building an important downtown with transportation rather than creating a service for citizens and businesses of the city.

Transportation is a public service but Nashville sees it as an economic redevelopment tool for a downtown they want to show off to other cities. How do we as citizens take back transit from the folks in the castle?