Aug 07

Mayor Kincannon Appoints Isaac Thorne as Director of Transit

Posted on August 7, 2020 at 3:15 PM by Savannah Kilday

Isaac Thorne

Mayor Indya Kincannon has appointed Isaac Thorne to be the Knoxville’s new Director of Transit. Thorne is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Connect Transit in Normal, Illinois. 

“Isaac has a winning track record in the transit industry,” Mayor Kincannon said.  “He is an innovative leader who never loses sight that public transit is a customer-focused service.

“I am also confident that he is the right person to continue to move KAT toward an all-electric fleet as part of our City’s sustainability strategy.” 

Over the past several years, KAT has expanded its alternative fuel options, and now nearly a third of the fleet consists of hybrid electric vehicles.

Thorne will be moving here after nearly 13 years with Connect Transit, where, prior to serving as CEO, he served as Chief Operating Officer, Interim Transportation Director, Procurement Director and Operations Manager. 


I am excited to be working with the employees of the City of Knoxville, Knoxville Area Transit and most importantly, our customers,” Thorne said. 


“It is an honor to be trusted to lead an exceptional transit system that has been nationally recognized in the beautiful City of Knoxville.” 

Thorne was i
nstrumental in helping to transform his current employer into the 2015 American Public Transportation Association Outstanding Public Transit System of the Year. That same year, he was also named to the prestigious list of Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40. 


Thorne succeeds Transit Director Dawn Distler, who left in 2018 to direct a larger regional transit system in Akron, Ohio, and Interim Director Melissa Roberson, who will return to her position as KAT’s Chief Administrative Officer. 


“Melissa has done a tremendous job advancing KAT’s place as an industry leader,” Mayor Kincannon said. “I thank her and appreciate all her hard work, especially during the recent challenges of COVID-19.”  


Thorne’s first day will be August 31. 

Jul 02

Face Coverings Required on KAT Buses, effective Monday

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 11:27 AM by Savannah Kilday

Face Covering Required 07-06-2020In adherence to Mayor Kincannon’s Emergency Executive Order No. 19, face coverings will be required for all individuals while on board Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) buses, as well as at Knoxville Station Transit Center, effective Monday, July 6, 2020.  Masks will be available on board each bus for anyone who does not have a face covering upon boarding.  In addition, reusable face masks are available at KAT’s Customer Service Counter at Knoxville Station.

This requirement will be in effect until further notice.

Face coverings can be a mask, scarf, bandana, or any cloth that covers the nose and mouth.

KAT service levels will also be returning to normal on Monday, July 6th.  KAT has been operating at reduced service levels but is now at full capacity.

Download Press Release PDF here.

Download flyer for display at your business here.

Mar 25

KAT Asks the Public to Limit Bus Use to Essential Trips Only

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 3:42 PM by Savannah Kilday

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) is urging the public to refrain from using transit except in the case of essential needs such as work, grocery and drug stores.  In an attempt to keep bus operators as safe and distanced from the public as possible, as well as protect those who must travel, KAT is attempting to limit bus loads to 10 passengers or fewer per vehicle, following the Knox County Health Department’s Safer at Home Order which prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people.

“We want to be available to everyone who needs us, but we are also trying to be as safe as possible and carefully follow the Health Department’s guidance during this time,” says Melissa Roberson, Interim Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We appreciate the support and understanding of our passengers during this pandemic.”
Corona Messaging

Currently, KAT is maintaining regular bus service.