The Hillsboro Transit Center has just about every form of transportation in one place.
There’s a rideshare pickup area for companies like Lyft and Uber, a spot for scooters, a bike rack and space for three city buses to line up to pick up riders.
There’s a new temperature-controlled waiting center that sits on the campus of Hillsboro High School across the street from Green Hills Mall. It has monitors displaying bus arrival times, a station to refill water bottles, a bus ticket vending machine and an area to take a seat.
Nashville’s housing agency WeGo has been wanting upgraded stops since 2020, and on Thursday, the $4.15 million Hillsboro Transit Center officially opened.
There are around 1,600 bus stops in the WeGo service area and close to 245 have a shelter.
“This is beyond being a super stop,” WeGo CEO Steve Bland tells WPLN News. “Our goal is to build out a network of neighborhood transit centers like this one all over the community to enhance connections.”
The agency says there will be security patrols along with cameras being monitored 24/7.
If it’s a nice day out, like when WPLN News interviewed Hillsboro High School Junior Sinclair Flippin, you could sit outside with an overhead covering.
About two months ago, Flippin remembers not having the covering and getting drenched in rain.
“I had to put my jacket over my head because I didn’t have a hood,” she recalls. Flippin was left sitting in soaking wet clothes during her 40-minute commute.
Hillsboro is the first to get a neighborhood center with a variety of transit options.
Starting April 3, the 12th Avenue South 17 bus route will start to make stops there along with the No. 7 route, which is the seventh busiest in the city with 300 boardings a day.
It’s yet another upgrade for the Hillsboro community, which just had its school revamped. And it’s more movement for WeGo after the transit referendum failed.
“When the referendum failed in 2018, what I said to our folks is ‘we may not be able to grow better and bigger as fast as we would like, but we’re going to make incremental improvements,'” Bland says. He notes it’s been done in the short term when it comes to buses improving in frequency, extending service hours, adding new routes and improving bus stops.
The agency will be asking for a significant increase in the upcoming city budget season to expand what’s already been done on a status quo budget.
The city’s next transit center will be in North Nashville.