Thursday's vote by the Knoxville Transportation Authority means that, on May 2, KAT will be expanding its downtown trolley system.
Great news! Plus, these upgrades are budget-neutral.
Among the improvements: Trolleys will soon be serving the Old City, and they will be running on extended evening hours of operation.
KAT in a few months will be operating three routes Mondays to Thursdays until 8 p.m. (and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) with a central transfer location along Locust Street.
The KTA Board amended the trolley expansion proposal Thursday to maintain some front-door service to Summit Towers, based on feedback from residents. The pickups at Summit Towers will be hourly, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays.
The new routes:
Trolley Route 1 will serve the UT/University Commons/World’s Fair Park areas, with a trolley rolling by every 15 minutes. Timing improvements will create a more consistent schedule, along with direct connections along Locust Street with routes serving Gay Street and the Old City, as well as the Civic Coliseum and east areas.
Route 2 will serve the Old City and Gay Street. Frequency: Every 10 minutes. This route will maintain a major downtown loop and includes service to the free parking near the Old City, a posted time schedule and connections to UT and the waterfront trolley routes.
Route 3 is the Waterfront Connection: Civic Coliseum Garage to downtown and the City County Building, returning via Hill Avenue. Frequency: Every 7 minutes weekdays, every 15 minutes on Saturdays. This route would maintain high-frequency service to connect Civic Coliseum parking to downtown, along with direct connections on to UT for residents east of downtown.
Study the map below - or click HERE - to see the new routes in more detail.
"I'm happy we are expanding our trolley services," said Dawn Distler, Knoxville's Director of Transit. "We'll be providing more service to more places for more people."
The trolley system upgrade came after an extensive outreach and input process - a series of "Trolleys on Tap" listening sessions; an online survey, completed by more than 500 people; two open houses; and a public hearing.
New downtown trolley routes, effective May 2.