After an extensive public input and planning process, Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) will begin operating new trolley routes on Monday, May 2, 2016. The three new routes – The Orange Line, Blue Line and Green Line – will replace the current system and offer new service to The Old City as well as later hours on weekdays. The system will also be on a set schedule, similar to regular bus routes, providing a more consistent schedule and better information for passengers. The changes are budget neutral and all trolley routes remain fare-free.
The new Green Line route will provide service to The Old City, connecting it with Gay Street and Main Street via a large downtown loop. The front doors of Summit Towers will also be served hourly by this route with a special route deviation Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 4pm. The Green Line will operate every 10 minutes until 8pm Monday – Thursday, and until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The Green Line will also begin service on a detour around Gay Street’s 700 Block improvements.
The new Blue Line route will provide service from the Civic Coliseum and garage, connecting that popular outlying parking with the rest of downtown every 7-8 minutes. The route will also connect visitor attractions – including James White’s Fort and The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame - and residential areas along Hill Avenue with the rest of downtown. The Blue Line also provides the connection to the waterfront via the Hill Avenue elevator. The route will operate every 7-8 minutes until 8pm Monday – Thursday, until 10pm on Fridays, and will operate every 15 minutes on Saturdays until 10pm.
The new Orange Line route will connect The University of Tennessee, University Commons and the World’s Fair Park to downtown. The route will operate every 15 minutes until 8pm Monday – Thursday, until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
In addition to changing routes, KAT will be working to improve other aspects of the trolley system as well, including a new trolley superstop, currently in the planning phase.
Another change to the trolley system currently in the design phase is a new trolley stop sign design – a concept brought forth by a participant in the trolley listening sessions.
“The goal is to make the trolley stops themselves more visible and fun, and provide more information right at the stop itself,” says Distler. The new trolley stop design should be completed within the year. In addition, a new sidewalk and shelter are planned to connect Summit Towers residents to Summit Hill Drive, providing them with additional access to bus routes beyond the trolley system.
For those wanting more information on the trolley changes, visit katbus.com or call 637-3000.