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Grateful Mom Sees Freedom Pass Free KAT Rides as a 'Blessing' - and a Teaching Tool 
Tiara-Lady Wilson says the City's Freedom Pass is "a blessing."

Her children grew up riding the bus with her, and now - with student passes for unlimited Knoxville Area Transit rides - they're coaxing their friends, transit newbies, to give KAT a try.

The Wilson family is enthusiastic about the new Freedom Pass program.

Her daughter Leilani, a Gresham Middle School student, wanted to celebrate her 14th birthday with friends at West Town Mall. They all decided to take the KAT bus - and for the others, it was their first time riding KAT.

"This is a tool for parents to help teach our children to be responsible and independent," Wilson says. "We want them to become independent young adults, and knowing how to ride the bus builds confidence."

Wilson's 12-year-old son, Kalani, rides the bus home from after-school dance company practice sessions at Vine Magnet.

Using the free KATbus Tracker App also teaches time management skills, Wilson says. Kids learn to plan how much time it takes to walk to a bus stop, to not miss the bus, and how many minutes to allot for the ride. Navigating the app and the routes and being home at the agreed-upon time earns trust - and a little pride.

"I know they're safe on the bus," Wilson says. "These bus drivers take care of my family. They're like aunts and uncles. They're an extension of my family."

Longtime fans of transit: Photos from 2011 of Leilani and Kalani riding KAT with their mom

Longtime fans of transit: Photos from 2011 of Leilani and Kalani riding KAT with their mom
Posted by evreeland On 25 March, 2021 at 11:59 PM