Many of the most popular destinations in Nashville are within walking distance but if you’d like other ideas for downtown transportation, here are some options:
Lyft, Uber, taxis
I’m pretty sure you’re savvy to these modes of downtown transportation but I will tell you that you’ll find a wide variety of cab companies on the road. If dependability matters, you might want to consult Yelp or other rating services. Most Uber/Lyft fares will run you $5-10 for short distances.
(Previously called Metro Transit Authority). It’s not your best choice if you’re only needing to travel a few blocks; however, if you need to get to or from downtown, it’s an economical option at only $2 per ride (with free transfers available).
Hop on/Hop off tour bus
What’s primarily a tour bus doubles as in-town transportation with Olde Town Trolley Tours. They offer 15 stops around downtown including Bicentennial Mall and the Country Music Hall of Fame but ventures as far as Belmont University and Centennial Park. You’re welcome to hop on and off at your discretion with a one-day pass priced around $35.
Grayline has a similar service operating both trolleys and a double decker bus. Prices run from $44 for adults ($39 if purchased online) to $20 for children ages 4-11. If you’re in the Opryland/Music Valley Drive area, there are free pick-up points so you don’t have to be downtown to start your tour. A big plus!
Super-charged golf carts
They’re basically golf carts on steroids and they can whiz you from Point A to Point B or serve as your personal tour guide. I like a little more metal around me in traffic than a golf cart provides–but that’s just me. Unfortunately, careless drivers have given the conscientious ones a bad name lately. Their territory is supposed to be limited to the core of the city. No set fees but tip a good driver generously. Here are links to current providers but new ones are popping up all the time:
If you’d like a leisurely clip-clop around downtown, you can rent a carriage from one of several companies. The cost, you ask? A 20-minute ride will cost you something north of $60 for 1-4 people.
Bring your rental bike back to where you started or drop it off at any of its dozens of Bcycle locations. A one-day membership costs just $5; the first hour is free and you’re charged $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes. There’s even an app to make it all the easier. Of course you can also check with local bike shops. However, if you’re planning on consuming alcohol, perhaps Bcycle is a bad idea.
These aren’t toys–they’re vehicles and misuse has caused one death and dozens of ER visits so consider yourself warned. There are hundreds of scooters around town available from Lime, Bird, Jump (by Uber) Bolt, Spin, and Lyft. You’ll find them all over downtown, Germantown, Midtown, East Nashville, SoBro and occasionally miles from downtown.
Download the app, enter your credit card info, scan the code on the scooter and off you go. Rates are $1 to unlock and 15¢ a minute.
Leave it when you reach your destination–but not where it blocks sidewalks or handicap-accessible ramps. Helmets (not provided) are highly recommended but it seems about 1 in 30 people actually wear one. Other important rules: 1) You must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license to rent one. 2) Only one rider per scooter. 3) It is illegal to ride a scooter on a sidewalk in a business district. 4) Where it is legal to ride on the sidewalks, you must yield to pedestrians and notify them if you are passing them.
You like the idea of riding around in a bicycle but want to leave the pedaling to someone else, try Music City Rickshaw. For information on party-on-wheels providers including Nashville Pedal Tavern, check out my tour page.
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