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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nashville Rapid Transit Project Stymied By Americans For Prosperity

A rendering of a potential Amp bus station in Nashville, Tenn. (Nashville Amp/Facebook)

A rendering of a potential Amp bus station in Nashville, Tenn. (Nashville Amp/Facebook)

After a six-week legislative battle in the Tennessee General Assembly, a plan to build a bus rapid transit system in Nashville appears dead in the water.

The project, called the Amp, would create a 7.1-mile line that would cost $174 million and significantly reduce congestion and commute time in that city.

Republicans in the state senate initially tried to kill the project by prohibiting its use of the center-lane as a fast track for the buses. That bill failed to make it through the Tennessee House of Representatives, but another bill requiring state approval of the project was passed.

Tennessee legislators had notable supporters in pushing against this government-funded initiative, including the Koch brothers, Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, and their conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.

Nashville Public Radio reporter Bobby Allyn has been following the Amp project and joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the latest developments and how the Koch brothers got involved in the movement against the project.

NPR’s Power, Money, and Influence Correspondent Peter Overby then joins us to discuss the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity.

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