Nov 30

KAT Honors Rosa Parks with an Open Seat on Every Bus

Posted on November 30, 2022 at 10:12 AM by Becca James

On Thursday, December 1, KAT will pay tribute to Rosa Parks by keeping one seat open on every bus.  The seat will feature a placard recognizing the contribution made by Parks in the fight for racial justice and equality, and how the small act of sitting down on a city bus changed the course of history in the United States. 

Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955 after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a 381-day boycott of the city’s transit system by African Americans which led to the Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on public transportation systems unconstitutional.  

“Rosa Parks’s seemingly small act of courage in the fight for racial justice had enormous consequences,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville.  “We honor that courage and the work of past civil rights leaders, while recognizing the responsibility we all have to continue to advance efforts to achieve racial equity across our city and our nation.” 

For more information on this news release, contact Belinda Woodiel-Brill at 865-215-7828. In-person interviews with KAT Public Relations staff available until noon on December 1. 

Nov 07

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) is Fare-Free on Election Day

Posted on November 7, 2022 at 3:08 PM by Becca James

In an effort to make voting in Knoxville as easy as possible, KAT is again offering fare-free rides all day on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022. 

“Transportation should never be a barrier to voting,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville, “We are pleased to be able to offer fare-free service on Election Day.” 

KAT’s Customer Service Counter staff at Knoxville Station are available to help passengers plan trips to the polls.  In addition, KAT has information available on the homepage (katbus.com) to help the public identify their polling location. KAT encourages planning ahead and voting early on Election Day, as there are some KAT routes that end service before the polls close.  Most polling locations for residents within the City of Knoxville are easily accessed from KAT routes.   

For more information on this news release, contact Belinda Woodiel-Brill at (865) 215-7828. 

Aug 25

KAT Service Reductions Take Effect on Monday, August 29, 2022

Posted on August 25, 2022 at 2:03 PM by Becca James

The KAT service reductions approved by the Knoxville Transportation Authority (KTA) in early July will take effect on Monday, August 29, 2022.   These reductions are due to continued workforce shortage issues. 

 The service reductions are as follows: 

  • Elimination of Routes 10 – Sequoyah and 19 – Lakeshore/Lonas 
  • Reduction of all Sunday service schedules, with the last downtown departures at 5:15 p.m. 
  • All weekday and Saturday evening service ending earlier, with the exception of core routes 11, 12, 22, 31 and 41 continuing through an 11:15 p.m. line-up. 
  • Reduced hours on Route 13 – Beaumont 
  • Reduced weekday frequency on Route 42 – UT/Ft. Sanders Hospitals 
  • Reduced frequency on Orange and Green Line trolleys 

The paratransit Lift service area will remain the same, as well as weekday and Saturday hours.  Lift service will end on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with fixed route service reductions.  

KAT plans to continue operation of the football shuttle services offered for UT home football games, although the amount of shuttle buses available may be more limited.  KAT also encourages game attendees to consider using the regular fixed route services as well.  Information on football options can be found on KAT’s website. 

In addition to these service reductions, two route changes were approved, effective August 29th: 

  • Service West Town Mall (outbound only) via the Gleason Drive entrance to Belk 
  • A route change on Route 12 – Western to use 5th Avenue to University (rather than Arthur and Boyd) through the Mechanicsville area 

The full details are posted on KAT’s website, www.katbus.com, or passengers can call 865-637-3000 or visit the Customer Service Counter for trip planning assistance. 

Recognizing the spiraling effect this could have on those using KAT for work-related transportation, KAT and Knox County CAC Transit are partnering to provide work-related transportation to fill in the gaps left by these reduced service levels.   KAT passengers can call Knox County CAC Transit at 865-524-0319 to check availability.  Knox County CAC Transit will do their best to work with passenger schedules to provide work-related trips.  KAT will cover the costs of the CAC fares for these passengers until a return to normal service levels on that route. 

KAT has had to reduce service levels during COVID twice – once in early 2020, returning to regular levels in July.  But those same reductions had to occur again in November 2020.  Increasing workforce allowed a return to some previous levels of service, but not all, in March of 2021.  However, since that time, workforce levels – in particular for bus operators - have continued to fall and are now lower than at any time during the pandemic.  KAT continues to expand recruitment and retention efforts and accepts employment applications on the website, katbus.com.  

For more information on this News Release, please contact Belinda Woodiel-Brill at 865-215-7828 or Becca James at 865-215-7826.