According to the Regional Transportation Authority, the Music City Star, the commuter rail train that ferries passengers from Lebanon to Nashville daily, showed a substantial increase in ridership for the recently ended fiscal year.
Data provided by the RTA to the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority, the entity that owns the track on which the Music City Star operates, showed nearly 270,000 passenger trips were recorded on the commuter train during the past fiscal year.
“As we see more and more commuters relying on the Music City Star to get to destinations in Nashville, we’re learning to appreciate so much more the contribution the train is making,” said Mike Jennings, chairman of the NERR Authority.
The Music City Star’s ridership increased by more than 10,000 passengers last year compared to the previous year. Two years ago, 258,360 passengers rode the train compared to 269,296 last year.
“We’re fortunate to have commuter rail service in our county,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. “It’s an amenity that our neighboring counties don’t have and one that certainly serves to distinguish Wilson from other counties in the Middle Tennessee region.
Operation of the Music City Star along the 32-mile line from Lebanon to Riverfront Park in Nashville began in September 2006. Nearly 105,000 passengers rode the train in the first year.
“When I have the opportunity to speak about our county to others, commuter rail is always one of the assets I list, along with highly respected public schools, excellent health care, Cumberland University and others.”
Besides the station of origin on Baddour Parkway in Lebanon, there are two other commuter rail stations in Wilson County, including Martha-Leeville and Mt. Juliet, and soon to be another at Hamilton Springs off Lebanon Road. Before the line ends at Riverfront Park, there are two Davidson County stations, one in Hermitage and the other in Donelson.