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New Cumberland Avenue is Even More Transit Friendly! 
More passengers ride KAT's Route 11-Kingston Pike buses than on any other route.
More KAT passengers ride the Route 11 Kingston Pike buses than ride any other route.

When the reconstruction project was in high gear along Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville Area Transit responded with an innovative idea: Why not offer free rides to people boarding the buses servicing The Strip?

The result was even more people riding KAT buses. Route 11 was already (and still is) KAT's most popular route. The Free Fare Zone was an incentive to get more people to try KAT as an alternative to driving, which in turn helped reduce traffic congestion during the heavy reconstruction.

In early 2015, KAT boardings around Cumberland Avenue numbered around 8,000 or so each month. Since the Free Fare Zone was introduced, boardings increased by several thousand most months. Last September, KAT tallied 15,824 boardings, and boardings have hovered at around 12,000 each month in early 2017.

Alas, with the end of street closures and detours, the Free Fare Zone will also end on Aug. 20. It successfully introduced new passengers to transit services and reduced the number of cars commuting through a construction area.

However, the new Cumberland - just as it was designed to be - is both pedestrian- and transit-friendly.

Visitors to the newly reconstructed Cumberland will notice five new bus shelters, all specially designed to be easily accessible to riders who use wheelchairs. The wide sidewalks and benches are welcome improvements, intended to make it easier and more comfortable to wait for and board the bus.

"Route 11 is our busiest route, and it'll be fun to take buses up and down the new Cumberland Avenue," said Dawn Distler, the City's Director of Transit.

"With the reconstruction of Cumberland, traffic will flow better and pedestrian safety has been enhanced. The transit experience will be much more pleasant. It's easy to get on and off the bus along Cumberland. The pedestrian walkways are wide, and everything is ADA compliant.

"The new Cumberland is a good model for how cities can do redevelopment the right way. Cumberland's design serves all commuters - motorists, transit riders and pedestrians. It's really a win-win for everybody."

KAT's Free Fare Zone on Cumberland - which ends Aug. 20 - offered commuters a free transit alternative to avoid driving through Cumberland Avenue when it was under reconstruction.
KAT's Free Fare Zone on Cumberland - which ends Aug. 20 - offered commuters a free transit alternative to avoid driving their personal vehicles through Cumberland Avenue when it was under reconstruction.

The new Cumberland Avenue features five new fully-accessible KAT bus shelters. Previously, there were no benches or shelters on Cumberland.
The new Cumberland Avenue features five new fully-accessible KAT bus shelters. Previously, there were no benches or shelters on Cumberland. One shelter is on 17th Street (northbound side) at Cumberland; there's a pair between 18th and 17th; and there's another between 21st and 22nd.

Posted by evreeland On 11 August, 2017 at 5:43 PM  

 
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