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Trolleys on Tap 2: Suttree's 
We had a great discussion of trolleys and transit at Suttree’s last Wednesday evening. Thanks to everyone who came out to add their thoughts. We had downtown residents, business owners, graduate students, KTA board members and more – a great group discussion. Here’s a summary of what we heard:

A large, tourist-focused loop route was proposed. This route included The University of Tennessee, the waterfront area, KMA, the Old City, downtown Market Square, and Visit Knoxville. It’s shown here:
tourist route idea

The attendants seemed to like the concept, but agreed that this would be very tourist-focused – a downtown resident or employee would not necessarily want to take large loop.

The next discussion involved all of the businesses and investments moving north, in particular to Emory Place, which now has an art gallery and a brewery. We discussed the bus service that runs along each side of Emory Place, running later than the trolleys, on Sundays, and at some times of the day just as frequently. All agreed that more people need to consider taking transit in Knoxville for entertainment, and ways of enhancing stops and making them more obvious, pleasant, and more easily accessible were discussed.

Cumberland Avenue came up as an appropriate destination for the trolleys when the construction was completed, as did the new development at the former Baptist Hospital site in South Knoxville. KAT staff reminded attendees that the Cumberland Free Fare Zone means that downtowners can still get to Cumberland Avenue fare-free via the Route 11-Kingston Pike.
group discusses trolleys

A concept of several different small to medium sized loop routes with connections between them were discussed as well. An example of Bogota, Columbia was given as a way to connect routes via transfer points – Hub Hopping.

We talked about specialized, or targeted services such as:
• An Art Trolley that operates for First Fridays specifically, running until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
• A Friday night “Brew Shuttle” to the many and growing brewing establishments in and around the downtown, connecting them to each other but also to outlying parking. Charging a decent fare for this service was also recommended.

Times and Days of Service:
There was general agreement that expanding the service until 8:00 p.m. consistently would be very helpful – especially for UT students living downtown or in the new apartments on the east side of downtown. Having weekend service until 10:00 or 11:00pm seemed reasonable – all agreed that running until the entertainment venues close is not a good use of resources.

Many would also like to see service on Sundays. For downtown residents, Sunday is an ideal day to head down to University Commons for the week’s supplies. Football Saturdays are not an option for getting out and about, so Sunday is the day. Suggestions were for Sunday service from 9 or 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.drawing on the map

“Knoxville is a city of neighborhoods.”
Transit service should be based on drawing close-in neighborhoods to downtown – naming routes to focus on neighborhoods and creating enhanced locations in each neighborhood that are their own unique transit stops. While this could be trolleys, it could be buses as well.

One attendee brought a sketch of a more attractive trolley sign design. We love it!

sketch of trolley stop design

The need for a real-time bus locator app was discussed. All agreed this was vital.
Posted by bbrill On 21 September, 2015 at 9:38 AM  1 Comment

Hubert (Guest) said On 21 September, 2015 at 10:40 AM
You have at least 4 different groups to possibly serve: tourists/visitors, downtown residents, UT students/staff, and downtown office workers. The good thing about that is you have plenty of opportunities to attract many more riders to the trolleys with better targeted routes. It will be interesting to see the end results. I like the concept of trolley tours for visitors. Some of the attractions like McClung Museum, the Museum of Art, and James White Fort are outside of the walking area for lots of people. Bigger cities have bus tours that are popular even though they are expensive. Free tours here ought to be a hit.   
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