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Mayor, MTA Announce Free Bus Rides on March 9


“Fareless Friday” Promotion Aims to Encourage New Riders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean and Nashville MTA CEO Paul J. Ballard announced today that the city will offer free bus rides on Friday, March 9 to encourage people who do not ride public transit to try it. The free rides will last all day and are unlimited.

“I am a regular rider and take the bus as often as possible,” Dean said. “I am convinced that if more people tried it, they would appreciate the many benefits and convenience just like I do. By offering a free bus day, I hope to encourage a large number of Nashvillians to leave their cars at home and ride on MTA buses.” 

Earlier today, Dean and Ballard rode the 56 BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) route to Five Points in East Nashville where they announced plans for “Fareless Friday.” The free rides will begin in the early morning on Friday, March 9, when the first bus departs the MTA garage, and will end when buses complete their final runs late Friday night.

“This is a great opportunity for Nashvillians to experience public transit, and it’s an opportunity for us to show our appreciation to the thousands of riders who use our services every day,” said Nashville MTA Board Chair and frequent rider Thomas F. “Freddie” O’Connell.

MTA ridership through the first six months of fiscal year 2012 is up 16 percent compared to the same time last year, with more than 4.6 million passenger trips taken. With rising gasoline prices and recent transit improvements, MTA is estimating 9.5 million annual trips by the end of the fiscal year and 10 million this fiscal year within the Middle Tennessee region.  

The Nashville MTA currently operates approximately 40 bus routes that serve all areas of the city. More than 8.5 million passenger trips were taken on MTA buses during fiscal year 2011. For information on bus routes, go to