Tennessee Transit Lacks Dedicated Funding Sources, Report Says

Image Credit: wegotransit.com

The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

Tennessee has two of the four among the largest 50 metro cities that doesn’t have set tax funding for transit agencies, according to a new report.

ThinkTennessee found Nashville and Memphis join Orlando and Hartford as the only four that don’t have dedicated transit funding. The report showed that 39 of those cities collect sales tax to fund transit with those taxes ranging from 0.375% to 2% bringing in an average $394 million annually.


Some municipalities also collect property tax, property title fees, mortgage recording fees and vehicle registration or sales fees to pay for transportation.

ThinkTennessee is a nonprofit think tank on state policy issues that was created in 2017.

“Dedicated funding is essential to a community’s ability to construct, operate, and maintain reliable, high-quality public transportation – from sidewalks to buses to light rail,” Erin Hafkenschiel, president of ThinkTennessee, said in a statement. “Cities and towns all over Tennessee are in dire need of more resources for transportation, and we hope that this data will empower local decision-makers to evaluate potential revenue sources for future investment in transit and multimodal infrastructure.”

ThinkTennessee attributed the longer commute times and less transportation options to the lack of dedicated transportation funding in Nashville and Memphis.

ThinkTennessee cited a recent report from Forbes Home that ranked Nashville as having the worst commute in the country with residents spending nearly 30 minutes each day commuting to work and losing 41 hours to traffic congestion each year.

Memphis’ commute ranks 8% longer than peer cities.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

4 thoughts on “Tennessee Transit Lacks Dedicated Funding Sources, Report Says

  • December 4, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    TN Conservative News – Please review the articles before you publish them. This is a Liberal article. NO conservative wants a tax for Mass Transit. It even mentions light rail – that is a HUGE money-loser. This is part of the WEF plan to force us all to live in Soviet style highrises and ride mass transit.
    One example – in 2018 (before COVID) Denver’s Mass Transit lost $600 million.

  • December 4, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    It’s impossible that Nashville has one of the worst commutes in the US. The article says > “residents spending nearly 30 minutes each day commuting to work”. That’s nothing – that’s one of the BEST. In most large cities the average commute is 120 minutes a day. (an hour each way).

  • December 5, 2023 at 12:29 am

    All the Money went into these MEGA Stadiums that no body wanted except those padding their pockets!

  • December 5, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    How about we let the people that use the service pay for it? Increase the fees and if that is not profitable or break even, now you know about the publics need and desire for the services.


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