Metro seeks $1M grant from Amazon to study transportation development

Metro Nashville is seeking a $1 million grant from Amazon to research transportation-oriented development, according to a resolution filed Monday

Amazon said the company is considering funding transit-oriented development research.

But a community organization chafed at language in the city’s summary of the potential grant, which states the money will be used “to hire a (Transportation-Oriented Development) Director who will assess current TOD-related policies, site/corridor opportunities and market conditions.”

The prospect of a Metro government staff position funded by a private company prompted several questions from Stand Up Nashville, which voiced concerns over what precedent such an agreement might set and what safeguards the city would have in place to ensure independence from Amazon’s corporate interests.

“This proposal from the Mayor would hand one of the largest companies on Earth unprecedented control over our city,” Stand Up Nashville wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Amazon is a corporation, and corporations only have one boss at the end of the day: their own bottom line.”

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