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University Connector bus links BU to other schools

Check out the route for the new University Connector on the Google Map below.

Starting in late September, a new Nashville bus route will connect Belmont to five other local universities from Jefferson Street to Granny White Pike.

The new bus line called the University Connector will start on Sept. 30 and have stops at Tennessee State, Meharry Medical College, Fisk, Vanderbilt and Lipscomb universities.

The University Connector, which Belmont students can ride for free with their student ID, will replace the city’s West End route that was implemented last year.

According to the Metro Transit Authority release that announced the route last week, buses will start at the new 28th/31st Avenue Connector Bridge every 30 minutes during the week and every hour on weekends. They will connect to campus via Belmont Boulevard and will have a transfer point at the corner of Belmont and Portland Avenue.

The line’s start will also coincide with the opening of the connector bridge that will link West End and North Nashville.

“We’ll be right at the starting gate when the new 28th/31st Avenue Bridge opens,” MTA CEO Paul Ballard said in a statement. “Riders want more cross-town routes, and the new bridge just begs for this one.”

Belmont student and frequent public transit rider Kenya Stevens said the implementation of the new route allows for greater interaction among schools, even though most of the schools in North Nashville don’t have the riding agreement Belmont, Vanderbilt and Lipscomb have.

“For it to be beneficial for some of the schools, then somehow MTA would need to make it very worthwhile,” she said.

Stevens also mentioned that the new route will only go from North Nashville to Green Hills, and not to the downtown Music City Center like the soon-to-be defunct West End route did. The new line will connect to 10 other bus routes on its own route.

“The whole point of the [West End] connector was to give students the opportunity to go downtown,” Stevens said. “This will be interesting.”

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