Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee aims to bring clarity to conversations regarding transit during and after the era of COVID-19

 

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee (TAMT) hosts its first ever Lunchtime Speaker Series beginning today, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. This is a series of four speakers to cover four different aspects of transit trends spanning both local and national concerns.

Speakers will join the Middle Tennessee audience online via Zoom on Tuesdays, May 19 and 26, and Fridays, May 22 and 29, for lunch, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. To register go to www.thetransitalliance.org/speaker-series–the series is free to attend.

Speakers include Steve Bland, CEO for WeGo Public Transit (5/19), Michelle Lacewell, Deputy Director for the Greater Nashville Regional Council (5/22), Beth Osborne, Director for Transportation for America (5/26), and Kristin Musulin, Senior Editor for Smart Cities Dive (5/29).

“So many questions surround transit during, and after, COVID,” said Jessica Dauphin the President and CEO for Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. “We felt it was important to give our community the opportunity to hear directly from the experts on what’s happening both here in Nashville and Middle Tennessee as well as the tone being set at a national level. Disseminating factual information is our goal. We aim to bring clarity to the transit-during-and-post-COVID discussions so that our region can continue to have meaningful conversations about how to best address transit and infrastructure for ourselves as we recover and reopen. This includes ridership, funding, and future needs. What we have found is that public transit is an asset. It’s an essential part of a functional and thriving city-region. To resuscitate this economy, we will need it more than ever. So, let’s learn from the professionals who have the data and expertise how to move things forward safely.”

“Despite the huge reduction in travel all over the world, over 10,000 people use WeGo Public Transit to travel to and from essential activities.  It’s important that mobility advocates know, not only what we’re doing at WeGo to promote and preserve the health of the community, but also what we have planned in the future to further enhance the system and its resilience,” said Steve Bland, CEO for WeGo Pubic Transit.”I applaud the Transit Alliance for working to keep public transit top of mind through their Lunchtime Speaker Series,” said Michelle Lacewell, deputy director for the Greater Nashville Regional Council. “It is essential that community leaders stay engaged in the transit conversation and continue to participate in on-going planning activities even in the COVID environment.”

“COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on transit and how essential it is to all of us. Many depend on transit to get to necessities, like jobs, groceries and health care. And we all depend on transit taking essential workers to the jobs we all rely on. As we move into recovery, we should consider how our whole transportation system needs to change in order to support economic recovery and public health,” said Beth Osborne, Director for Transportation for America.

“Our team has spent the last ten weeks closely studying how the pandemic will shape public transit nationally and I’m eager to share this knowledge with the workers who need it most. Events like the Lunchtime Speaker Series are crucial in helping transit leaders navigate this unprecedented crisis, and I hope to boil down my national-level insights to lessons and predictions that are directly applicable to the mid-Tennessee region. Nobody knows what the future will hold, but together we can prepare transit leaders with the best possible tools and information to maintain successful operations in the face of adversity,” said Kristin Musulin, Senior Editor for Smart Cities Dive.

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee is a local 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to build support for funding regional transit. TAMT leads the effort made up of public and private sector leaders in the ten counties of Middle Tennessee, fostering collaboration across cities, counties, and business to proactively improve regional mass transportation options that are attractive for businesses and industry, support greater equity between neighborhoods, and that support overall enhanced quality of life of the region. Learn more at www.thetransitalliance.org.