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Jan 19

KAT Receives Grants for Bus Stop Improvements, Electric Charging Infrastructure

Posted on January 19, 2022 at 2:56 PM by Belinda Woodiel-Brill

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) has received notification from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) of two project funding awards:  a proposed Bus Stop Improvement Project has been funded, along with funding for electric charging infrastructure at Knoxville Station Transit Center.

The Bus Stop Improvement grant is funded through the IMPROVE Transit Investment Grant Program, and will be dedicated toward improving bus stops throughout the KAT service area, adding shelters, benches, and other enhanced waiting features such as real time bus predictions via electronic signage.  The grant is for $900,000.  The City of Knoxville previously dedicated $300,000 to bus stop improvements, making the total $1.2 million toward improving the on-street experience for the riding public.

“We are so pleased to be able to make the much-needed investments in on-street transit enhancements,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We are grateful to the City of Knoxville for their support of this, as well as TDOT.  We are eager to begin these improvements.”

KAT is currently establishing priorities for bus stop improvements, and will announce the plan in more detail in the coming weeks.  The Bus Stop Improvement priorities list will be based upon data of KAT's busiest boarding locations, along with passenger requests for amenities, and feasibility factors.  The public will be encouraged to comment on the draft priorities list before the program is finalized.

In addition to the IMPROVE Act funding, KAT also received TDOT funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program for electric bus in-route overhead charging infrastructure.  KAT will receive $1,600,000 in federal CMAQ funds, with a $400,000 local match required.  The in-route charging infrastructure will allow KAT’s new fleet of electric vehicles to operate beyond an initial full charge, using a rapid charge technology to keep the bus in service through the day.

The charging infrastructure will be installed at Knoxville Station Transit Center.

“On-street improvements and electric charging infrastructure keep KAT and the City of Knoxville moving forward on a sustainable path of a better transit experience, encouraging people to choose KAT instead of driving alone,” says Thorne.