Through the years the methods of transportation have changed in Knoxville. Please read through our history to see where we began, the many transitions, and where we are today.
- 1876: Horse-drawn streetcar service begins in Knoxville.
- 1890: Knoxville Streetcars are converted from animal to electric power. The first electric streetcar ran from Gay Street to Lake Ottosee (now Chilhowee Park).
- 1895: Knoxville Electric Streetcar Company changes its name to the Knoxville Traction Company.
- 1902: Knoxville Traction Company is sold to United Railway and Light Company of America.
- 1904: Knoxville Traction Company changes its name to the Knoxville Railway and Light Company.
- 1910: Knoxville had 42 miles of track and was carrying 11 million passengers per year.
- 1921: National Power and Light Company purchases the streetcar system and changes its name to Knoxville Power and Light Company.
- 1929: The first buses were used, serving on feeder routes for the streetcar system.
1930: Knoxville Power and Light Company changes its name to the Tennessee Public Service Company.
- Knoxville's first and only electric rubber-tired coaches begin service.
- 1938: The Tennessee Coach Company buys Knoxville's public transportation system and changes its name to Knoxville Transit Lines (KTL).
- 1947: Electric streetcars made their last run in Knoxville on August 1.
- 1958: Bus service was first added to the University of Tennessee.
1967: Knoxville Transit Lines is sold to the City of Knoxville.
- Knoxville Transit Lines (KTL) changes its name to the Knoxville Transit Corporation (KTC).
- The Knoxville Transit Authority is established.
- 1972: The first air-conditioned GMC buses arrived in Knoxville.
- 1975: KTC moves to Jessamine Street.
1978: The Knoxville Transit Authority is renamed the Knoxville Transportation Authority.
- KTC changes its name to K-Trans.
1989: K-Trans moved into a new facility on Magnolia Avenue.
- The downtown transfer point is moved to Summer Place and Walnut Avenue.
- 1990: The new office and maintenance facility is dedicated to Reverend W T. Crutcher, chairman and long-time member of the KTA.
- 1995: K-Trans became Knoxville Area Transit (KAT).
1997: KAT begins neighborhood service using minibuses in Sequoyah Hills and Lincoln Park.
- The KTA and Trolley Board consolidate functions.
- 2001: The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was created by city ordinance.
- 2003: KAT begins Clean Fuels Program with propane-powered vehicles.
- 2004: KAT is named APTA's North American Transit System of the Year.
2010: KAT begins operating out of the John J. Duncan, Jr. Knoxville Station, a brand-new, state-of-the-art, LEED-certified transit center.
- KAT implements a complete fixed-route system restructure (KATamorphosis) - ridership increases every month for several years.
- 2011: Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) system is implemented improving system efficiency.
2013: KAT installs the first of several SuperStops to enhance passenger experience at outlying transfer points.
- KAT improves frequencies on major routes to every 15 minutes during peak hours.
2014: KAT begins operating Hybrid Electric vehicles.
- KAT implements a Semester Pass Program.
- City established Director of Transit position.
2015: KAT restructures Trolley routing with Green Line, Blue Line and Orange Line.
- KAT receives the "Shining Star" award from the Federal Transit Administration.
2016: KAT Implemented Google Transit, a trip planning feature on the website.
- Awarded contract to develop a new website.
- The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is dissolved by city ordinance.
2017: All vehicles equipped with Wi-Fi access for passengers - a free amenity.
- New distinctive Trolley signage and shelters installed.