Nicknamed the Music City, Nashville, Tennessee has a long history and a huge legacy when it comes to the country music genre. It also treats visitors and residents to amazing gastronomy and cultural landmarks. This populous state capital has started to increase its public transportation options.
Nashville Tennessee has a good public transportation system, but those living further out in the metropolitan area may not get to enjoy it as much as those living in central areas. While there are several public transportation options, not all of them efficiently replace cars.
If you are a Nashville Tennessee resident or visitor, you may be interested in how to get around the city with public transportation. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Nashville Tennessee is the state capital and popular around the world for its impact on country music. Landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame attract visitors year-round.
With such a large population of residents and such a high influx of visitors, it is no surprise that the Nashville metropolitan area is constantly growing. This has highlighted the need for a good and efficient public transportation system that has been providing increased service in the city.
The best way to get around Nashville Tennessee continues to be the car. However, the city has become more pedestrian-friendly and has been providing better alternatives to cars, including a more robust public transportation system.
Nashville, Tennessee offers several public transportation options, each with their benefits and their different ranges. While the downtown area is the best served by public transportation, the system is constantly spreading out and improving.
Before visiting or moving to Nashville, you should always check the most up to date information on the public transportation available in your area. Or, just make sure you have your walking shoes ready to go.
Until 2018, the city buses were operated by MTA. Since then, the system has changed its brand and is now known as the WeGo Public Transit. Its instantly recognizable fleet of purple buses spread across more than 50 routes in the city.
WeGo includes express routes, and covers the needs of visitors and locals alike. The #18 route leads to the airport, while the #34 goes to Opry Mills. There is a special route catering to Nashville visitors interested in its music history called the Music City Circuit, which is free.
Per ride, those traveling on the WeGo buses will be charged $2. There are cost-effective all-day passes available for $4 which can be used on however many rides you need to do during the day. Cash is required to pay for the fare.
You should always check the WeGo website for exact route schedules. Buses normally start to operate around 5:30 AM, and continue to run into the evening, but the exact time will depend on the route.
Nashville, Tennessee does not currently have a full light rail system, but it does have a limited one specially designed for commuters. Known as the Music City Star Train, this option covers seven stops across the city and reaching into the wider metropolitan area.
Tickets for the Music City Star Train cost $5.25 per ride, with some discounts available when purchasing in bulk. The service is now also known as the WeGo Star, following the entire system’s rebranding in 2018.
For further convenience, the Star Train connects to the WeGo buses at the Riverfront Station.
The Old Town Trolley is one of the best options to get around Nashville for tourists. The trolley takes visitors on a 12-mile loop featuring several stops. This ride goes around the main attractions in the city.
The tour includes riding past the Ryman Auditorium, Lower Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Centennial Park, and the Johnny Cash Museum. There are various pricing options, including one-day and two-day trolley tours.
The Nashville public transportation system is improving every year, but continues to have some drawbacks when compared to cars. At its core, the main problem with the public transportation in Nashville is that it continues to not deal with the vast size of the city.
Criticisms of the public transportation system in Nashville also suggests it is impossible to depend on it if outside the central areas. It is also not running frequently enough to cover the extensive demand from locals and tourists alike.
Most routes also stop running early. However, if you are a commuter and live around the downtown area, you will find it much easier to have public transportation options. The same is true if you are a tourist to the city and staying in the center.
Nashville has a good public transportation system in the downtown area. For anything outside that, visitors and locals may struggle to find an efficient public transportation option to cover their needs.