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The Final Two Sessions - Transit on Tap! 
Last Days of Autumn Brewing
Cool place!  Great artwork and of course, delicious beer.  We didn’t have a huge crowd but we had a great time there!  And the folks that came by had great comments including:
Increased frequencies, in particular on Routes 23 – Millertown and 40 – South Knoxville
Wishing there was a more direct route from Parkridge to UT
Real time apps to know where the bus is
Better hours in the summertime on Route 40 might pull more people to the greenway
Some similar themes from other listening sessions for sure.

Participants at Wild LoveWild Love Bakehouse
A sunny, happy and delicious morning breakfast spot!  And our biggest crowd and great discussion – a greatending to our Transit on Tap sessions.  Here’s a few discussion points:
Getting people west more efficiently.  Representatives from Bridge Refugee services indicated that their clients need to get out to the Turkey Creek area for service industry jobs, in particular hotels. We had other people chiming in, mentioning that many people from Scripps on Sherrill Boulevard live near downtown, but taking the regular Route 11 (plus original routes from north Knoxville) takes too long.  We heard this before from our meeting at Three Bears.  We discussed the challenges of getting people around west Knoxville – a very sprawling type of development.  We also discussed whether transit resources are better spent improving close-in services – like adding frequencies – versus going further and further out to reach new development.  The answer lies somewhere in the middle, we think.

Transit on Tap discussionRethinking your commute.  We discussed how a bus can’t compete with a car, as far as time efficiency goes.  But we talked about the idea of ‘working on your way to work’ – what if, when you got on the bus, you could use WiFi to go ahead and check your e-mails before you even reached the office.  Maybe that means that you can leave earlier too, finishing some work on your way home.

Buses and branding.  Buses suffer from an image problem, a stigma attached to riding.  Focusing on a particular target population – like millennials.  Tell a story / profile in short videos about a new rider experience that others in that target population can relate to.  Reinforce with regular Mercury ‘stories’ – like Ginny Weatherstone did for Volunteer Ministries.

Competing with Cars.  Encouraging people to take transit to a Saturday Farmer’s Market can be challenging.  If you bring a family, it’s cheaper to drive, since downtown parking is free and transit isn’t.  It’s difficult to compete with that.  Zone fares or free rides within a specific downtown location would be especially helpful for families who want to take transit.

Funding and support for transit is important. Support is important on both a state and local level.  It may be time to investigate dedicated funding options, other revenue sources.

Other comments and “I’d ride the bus more if” responses:
Getting from 4th & Gill to UT requires too much time and too many transfers.  Needing a more direct route to downtown.
Knoxville is seen as an outdoor community – connecting with greenways, emphasizing bikes, walkability
Access to walkable/bikeable hubs outside downtown (zoning issues)
Connect to popular services
If there was a direct Central Avenue to UT route
If I knew how the bus system works, price, bus sotps, itineraries, reach of the system.  I don’t see info about it anywhere in Knoxville
Transit on Tap Perceived as sketchy
Park & Ride for the Green Line Trolley in The Old City – reminding people that free parking and good service are available to connect them to downtown.  Old City safety perception issues still exist, though.
Shelters and amenities are important – need to be brought back along Magnolia Avenue.  Improving bus stops is important.
Getting to Knoxville Station seems like a long distance from downtown, even though it isn’t.  If more buses went closer to downtown before coming to the station might help.
And perhaps the best one…
If Johnny Depp rode the bus too.
Posted by bbrill On 05 December, 2016 at 4:14 PM  

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