While ridership and foot traffic are low, WeGo is taking the opportunity to work on a number of capital improvement projects for its regional transportation services. These projects will enable more parking, safer and more comfortable commutes, and better technology along the way.
WeGo Star Train Sets – Work to improve and replace the WeGo Star train sets is continuing as scheduled.
The agency has purchased eight replacement passenger cars for the Star. These cars are currently undergoing testing and cosmetic upgrades at the railyard in Lebanon. They are expected to be put into service in June 2020.
In Fall 2019, WeGo announced the beginning of a locomotive overhaul process. To date, one of the Star’s four locomotives has already been completed and put into service, while the second is currently undergoing rehabilitation. The third locomotive is scheduled to be sent off for an overhaul later this year. This process will bring existing engine and systems equipment to a like-new condition, along with new wheels and brakes, extending the locomotives’ service life an estimated 15 years.
Station Parking Upgrade – Work has begun in Mt. Juliet to expand the train station parking lot. The overall project will include enhanced transit service amenities, 99 additional parking spaces, multi-modal connections, and safety/security at the station. Service will be maintained during construction, beginning with platform work to accommodate the installation of new fare system technology. The entire project is expected to take approximately one year.
New Fare Payment – As part of the new fare collection project, WeGo staff will begin work by early May to install new ticket vending machines (TVMs) and platform validators at all Star train stations. Construction will take place over the course of three phases, with work beginning at the Mt. Juliet station in the next two weeks in coordination with the start of the parking lot expansion project. The second phase of work will cover the Davidson County stations at Riverfront, Donelson and Hermitage. The third phase will cover the remaining Wilson County stations in Lebanon, Hamilton Springs and Martha. The entire project is expected to be completed later this year.
Regional Bus – WeGo previously announced that 10 new MCI coaches featuring USB ports and plush seating would be put into service in Summer 2019. Those vehicles, alongside the other Gray Line-operated coaches used for commuter bus service, have since been outfitted with new fare boxes and smartphone validators to ready the regional fleet for WeGo’s new fare collection system later this year.