In America, Nashville is one of the best places to live. It's one of the best places to start and grow a company, buy a house and build a family. People who move here often come from places that have higher costs of living, higher taxes, more people, more cars and FAR worse traffic. Just ask your newest neighbors if they believe traffic is bad here. I hear, after a brief chuckle, most say they just don't think traffic is bad at all. Obviously, they are not in pain.
If you've lived here for any length of time, it's a dramatic change.
The auto industry is important to Tennessee. Nashville is a "car centric city" because that's the infrastructure and culture we have.
Last year, compared to all other cities in the USA, Nashville ranks #1 for the largest year over year change in congestion. We made it to the Top 25 Most Congested Cities in America according to INRIX, not a top 25 list you want to see your home city on. It's measured in terms of time in transit, where we spend 20% more time in our commute this year compared to last year. We are in pain.
Growing into our success as the "It City" means Nashville has to align on a long term vision for transportation. That's not been easy to do. Leaders are working hard to develop a plan that might get traction. Give that process six to ten years. Between now and then, what do we do about 350,000+ single occupant vehicles that plow into Nashville every single day? When 98% of those cars bring ONE person who is going to compete for ONE parking spot and parking costs are rising exponentially, we are all in pain.
When will the pain be high enough to change our behavior?
I'm excited to find out. Nashville is currently leading the country to the idea that we should create incentives to motivate friends, neighbors and co-workers to actually share a ride. We built Hytch Rewards to help it happen. Using technology and cash rewards to drive change in behavior, we can get pain relief, even if all that means is we bring our collective migraine down to a dull headache.