How to get from BNA Airport to downtown Nashville on Bus 18

Express Bus 18 arriving at Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Express Bus 18 arriving at Nashville International Airport (BNA)

One of the quickest, cheapest, easiest ways for you to reach downtown Nashville from Nashville International Airport (BNA) is by using Bus 18. With a fare of only $1.70 per person, Bus 18 is the most economical mode of public transportation to reach destinations in Nashville from the airport.

To reach downtown Nashville by taxi, you will have to pay around $30. With Uber around $20. This might not sound expensive to some, but you have to realize that the express bus takes about the same time to reach downtown as a taxi or Uber will. If you want to save money, take the bus.

Here is how you can reach downtown Nashville from BNA Airport using Bus 18.


There are actually two types of Bus 18: normal and express.

If you need to get to downtown Nashville quickly, then the express bus might be right for you. If you need to get to other locations in Nashville, then the local bus might be better suited for you.

The schedules and stops for each of these buses slightly differs depending on whether you will be traveling on a weekday or weekend/holiday.


Express Bus 18

On weekdays, the express bus departs the airport for downtown Nashville at 5:45AM, 7:08AM, 8:13AM, 9:08AM, 10:15AM, 11:20AM, 6:45PM, 7:45PM, 8:45PM, 9:45PM, 10:45PM, and 11:40PM.

On weekends and holidays, the express bus departs the airport for downtown Nashville at 6:47AM, 7:46AM, 8:45AM, 9:40AM, 10:40AM, 11:40AM, 12:40PM, 1:40PM, 2:40PM, 5:40PM, 6:40PM, 7:40PM, 8:40PM, 9:40PM, and 10:40PM.

The express bus makes stops at Music City Center (at the bus stop on 5th Avenue just north of Charlotte between the two bay entrances of Music City Center) and Music City Central. The express bus takes about 15 minutes to reach Music City Center and 25 minutes to reach Music City Central from the airport.

The bus fare is $1.70.

Local Bus 18

On weekdays, the local bus departs the airport for downtown Nashville at 12:25PM, 1:30PM, 2:18PM, 2:54PM, 3:41PM, 4:03PM, and 5:33PM.

On weekends and holidays, the local bus departs the airport for downtown Nashville at 3:35PM and 4:35PM.

The local bus makes stops at the Airport Marriott Hotel (12 minutes), Elm Hill & Acorn (17 minutes), Massman Drive Loop (18 minutes), Lafayette & Wharf (32 minutes), Music City Center (37 minutes), and Music City Central (47 minutes).

The bus fare is also $1.70.


The journey for me began at Terminal C of Nashville International Airport.

Since Bus 18 leaves outside of Terminal C, this is where this guide will start from.

If you are located in another terminal, follow the signs for Terminal C.


From your gate, follow the signs towards Baggage Claim, Ground Transportation, and Medical Clinic.

If you are following this sign, you are heading in the right direction. There is only one way for you to go to exit.


If you have followed the signs, you will now be at the exit of the secured section of the terminal. Once you pass through the security exit, you can not reenter this area without passing through security again.

Pass through this exit.


Once you have passed through the exit of the secured area, take the escalators to your right towards Baggage Claim and Ground Transportation.


Once you reach the bottom of the escalators, you are now in the Baggage Claim area.

If you checked in luggage for your flight, this is where you will retrieve your luggage.

Once you your luggage, continue across the Baggage Claim area towards the escalator pointing towards Car Rental-Rideshare, Taxi-Bus-Limo, Hottle Shuttle.


Take the escalator down for Ground Trasportation for Car Rental, Taxi-Bus-Limo, Hotel Shuttle, Rideshare, Short Term Parking


At the bottom of the escalator, continue following the signs for Taxi-Bus,Shuttle-Limo-Rideshare, Information, and Short Term Parking.


If you made it this far, you are almost there.

Continue past the sign for Taxi – Bus – Shuttle – Limo – Rideshare – Parking – Valet towards the automatic sliding doors.


Continue through the automatic sliding doors to exit the airport.


Once you exit the automatic sliding doors, you are now outside of the airport.

When you exit the doors, turn right and look out for the sign for Charter Bus and Metro Transit Bus.


When you see the sign for Charter Bus and Metro Transit Bus, turn slight left and cross the small crosswalk.


Continue down the sidewalk past the stops for the Charter Bus

Stop at the sign for Metropolitan Transit Authority (Service to downtown and Elm Hill Pike). This is where Express Bus 18 will stop.


If you are standing in front of the sign reading Metropolitan Transit Authority (Service to downtown and Elm Hill Pike), then you have made it to the bus stop.

You can view the bus schdule on the sign at the bus stop, or scroll back up towards the top of this post to see the depature times for Bus 18 and Express Bus 18.

At this point, you should ensure that you have at least $1.70 in hand for your fare.

Now all you have to do is wait for the bus to arrive.





Last Updated on January 1, 2024

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My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.

2 thoughts on “How to get from BNA Airport to downtown Nashville on Bus 18”

  1. My wife and I arranged for round-trip transportation to the Nashville Airport through the Nashville Express Airport Shuttle. The shuttle was late picking us up, but no big deal. The return trip, however, was another story. After pre-paying for the round-trip, the shuttle was a no-show on the morning of our flight. Repeated calls to the service (by me and the hotel desk clerk) got no answers. We had to take a cab to the airport to avoid missing our flight. Repeated e-mail requests for reimbursement have resulted in one “check is in the mail” response, but no check. Avoid the Nashville Express Airport Shuttle; don’t just walk away from it–run!! Other than this experience, our trip to Nashville was delightful–make sure you go to Nashville for the music, food, and wonderful people. It’s a great place to visit.


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