The Knoxville Transportation Authority (KTA) was introduced to the recommended bus network for the KAT Reimagined project on Thursday of last week at its regular monthly meeting. The board voted to present the public with this cost-neutral version of the route network which incorporates a new bus route focused on seniors.
The recommended network incorporates several changes based on public feedback received during the last public engagement process. These changes include:
- The addition of a new Route 23 – Millertown that would also serve O’Connor Senior Center, in addition to Broadway Towers, Washington Pike, and Wal Mart east.
- Route changes to better serve Austin-East High School, Inskip Pool, and Main Street.
- Temporary route adjustments until pedestrian infrastructure and traffic signal issues can be resolved, namely on Division Street and on Clinton Highway. Once these infrastructure changes occur, the route will return to the original draft network routing.
While incorporating these changes, the recommended network plan increases frequencies to 15-minute service along Cumberland Avenue and Sutherland Avenue to Bearden, Magnolia Avenue, and from downtown out to the Food City on Western. Sunday service improves dramatically, with more routes and better frequencies on most routes – all while remaining cost neutral.
The plan improves 45-minute job access by 16% for overall residents, 20% for low-income residents, and 24% for residents of color. Sunday service improves under the plan, with nearly all routes available on Sunday and several with 30-minute service.
“This has been a long, but thoughtful process, and we feel like we’ve achieved a good result,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We were able to take public comments, prioritize and analyze them, and find a way to address them in the final plan. We hope the public has felt heard during this extensive public engagement process, and is pleased with the result.”
The recommended route network is available for viewing on KAT’s project website, katreimagined.com. It can also be found through KAT’s website, katbus.com. The Knoxville Transportation Authority will hold a public hearing on July 27, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building, 400 Main Street, to hear comments on the recommended network.
If the plan is approved, implementation is currently scheduled for August of 2024. The KTA and the public will see the detailed individual routes that make up this network early next year.