Vanderbilt is the primary sponsor of a new nonprofit corporation created to promote public transportation in Middle Tennessee. The university has committed $100,000 per year for the next three years to help fund the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.
“Mass transit is already an important part of the daily commute for many of Vanderbilt’s more than 23,000 employees,” says Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “This is an investment by Vanderbilt into the Nashville community and into the convenience and comfort of everyone who teaches, researches, heals, studies and works at our campus every day.”
The corporation will work to galvanize community support for transit development, provide information about the benefits of mass transit, develop regional agreement on strategies for funding mass transit, and advocate for dedicated funding for regional and local transit.
“The Transit Alliance is a group of business leaders from across Middle Tennessee that has come together to lead a public education campaign about the need for development of a regional mass transit system,” says Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, JD’81. “Mass transit is critical for our region’s future economic growth, and the work of the Transit Alliance will be key to developing community support.”
To date, efforts to promote mass transit options for the Vanderbilt community include eligibility of all full-time employees to participate in the university’s vanpool/carpool “ride matching” program; free rides on city buses to and from Vanderbilt for graduate students, employees and medical center volunteers; a 60 percent discount on commuter rail service available to eastern suburbs; and a Zipcar program, which offers vehicles available for rent during the workday for students, faculty and staff.