Transportation Options from Nashville International Airport (BNA)
There are several ways to travel from the Nashville International Airport to your final destination. Below is a list of some of the most common options.
All transportation options listed depart from the Ground Transportation Center. To get to the center, exit the main terminal on Level 1 of the airport. Turn right, and follow the signs that say “Ground Transportation.”
Please note: Vanderbilt International Student & Scholar Services does not endorse any particular mode of transportation or transportation company. This guide is meant to provide basic information to help you with your travel plans.
Ride Share Apps
Estimated cost from BNA to Vanderbilt area: $24- $27 (not including tips)
This is one of the most common ways to get from the airport to your final destination. Lyft and Uber are the two ride share apps that service the Nashville airport. To use this option, you must have all of the following:
- Smartphone with a working U.S. number (you are welcome to use one of the free SIM cards included with your I-20/DS-2019 package for this purpose!)
- Uber and/or Lyft app downloaded to your smartphone (you can download either app for free from the AppleStore and PlayStore)
- Credit or debit card from a major bank
In the Ground Transportation Center, look for signs that say “Ride App Pickup.” There are 3 zones: A, B, and C. Lyft picks up from Zone A, and Uber picks up from Zones B and C. Both apps require you to provide the address of your final destination, so make sure that you know that when you request a ride. You will see the estimated fare before you accept the ride. You will receive information about your driver and the driver’s car, as well as an estimated arrival time, once your request is confirmed.
Also, drivers may leave (and you may be charged a cancellation fee) if they are left waiting, so make sure to wait until you have your bags and are at the Ground Transportation Center before requesting your ride.
After the ride is over, you will be asked if you want to tip your driver. It is customary to give a tip, especially if the service was good.
Note: Both Uber and Lyft raise their prices during periods of high demand. Expect to pay more if you are requesting a ride on a Friday or Saturday night! In some cases, it may actually be cheaper to take a taxi.
Cost from BNA to Downtown Nashville: $2
Nashville has a public bus system, called WeGo Public Transit. The buses run from approximately 5am to midnight on weekdays, with reduced hours on weekends and public holidays. Buses are not as frequent as ones you might find in a larger metropolitan area, so you may have to wait before the next bus arrives.
Bus Line 18 runs from the airport to the central bus station in downtown Nashville. Take the bus to the very last stop on the route. From there, you can transfer to other bus lines serving the metropolitan Nashville area. (Lines 3 and 7 have stops along the Vanderbilt campus.) For a complete schedule of Line 18 and all other bus routes in the WeGo system, please consult this link: https://www.nashvillemta.org/Nashville-MTA-Maps-and-Schedules.asp. Depending on where you are going (and the time of day), it may be more convenient to take a Lyft or Uber from the bus station to your final destination.
The bus departs the airport from the Ground Transportation Center. Follow the signs that say “Shuttles/Buses.” The WeGo buses indicate the bus line on the front of the bus.
The current bus fares are posted on the WeGo website: https://www.nashvillemta.org/Nashville-MTA-bus-fares.asp. Please carry exact change, as bus drivers do not give change.
Note: Once you have arrived on campus and have gotten your Commodore ID, you can use that card to ride the bus for free!
Estimated cost from BNA to Vanderbilt area: $30 (not including tips)
Various shuttle services are available to take you from the airport to some locations in Nashville. Shuttles depart from the Ground Transportation Center; follow the signs that say “Shuttles/Buses.”
A few shuttle services – such as Nashville Express Airport Shuttle and CitiValet – will provide transportation directly to your final destination (so make sure that you know the address). Some companies have cancellation policies, so make sure that you are familiar with the policy before you arrange the ride. Because flights can be unpredictable, it may be safer to wait until you have arrived in Nashville to book the ride. Depending on the company, you may schedule a ride by phone or online. (The Information Desk, located in the baggage claim area of the airport, has a phone that you can use to make calls within the Nashville area.)
Here is a link to the shuttle companies that serve the airport: https://www.flynashville.com/ground-transportation/Pages/buses-and-commercial-shuttles.aspx. Fares may vary depending on the company and the number of passengers. It is customary to give the driver a tip ($5 – $10 depending on the length of the ride, plus $1 per bag if the driver helps you with your luggage).
Some Nashville hotels (especially ones in the downtown area) offer an airport shuttle; often, this service is complimentary. If you are staying in a hotel, it may be worth checking with the hotel to see if they offer such a service.
Estimated cost from BNA to Vanderbilt area: $27 (not including tips)
Taxis tend to be more expensive than some of the other transportation options, but they may be convenient if you cannot use a ride share app. Taxis are located in the Ground Transportation Center; follow the signs that say “Taxis/Limo.” You may either call a taxi in advance from the airport Information Desk, or you can request a taxi in the taxi area.
The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County sets the taxi rates. There is a flat rate of $25 (plus $1 per extra passenger) to/from the airport to Downtown Nashville and to the Opryland area. Taxi companies and estimated fares are listed on this website: https://www.flynashville.com/ground-transportation/Pages/taxis.aspx.
Most taxis will accept either cash payment or a major credit card, but it is helpful to ask in advance to avoid any surprises later on. It is customary to give the driver a tip (15-20% of the fare).