Knoxville offers a slew of entertainment and activities to students who live on and off campus with festivals, restaurants, shops and more spread throughout the downtown area. With tons to do, students can stay entertained year round.
However, whether students live on or off campus, transportation around town becomes a critical point in deciding on a plan. So, whether it’s for a night out partying with friends, a dread of finding parking on UT’s campus or even the fact that you may not have a car, Knoxville’s transportation system might be the answer to the problem.
Knoxville Area Transit, the City of Knoxville’s public transportation system, provides a variety of buses, trolleys and paratransit services for anyone to use every day of the week.
Here’s a breakdown of the different transportation systems available in Knoxville.
Fixed Routes for Buses
The KAT system has 23 fixed routes for buses that serve 1,500 bus stops, which according to theKAT website serves about 80% of Knoxville.
While there are plenty of bus stops throughout town, operators will only stop at buses where passengers are already waiting or when signaled by passengers on the bus.
Unlike the trolley system which is free, the bus has different fares and tickets which can be bought either when boarding the bus, at the Knoxville Station Ticket Vending Machine on the bus platform, the Knoxville Station Customer Service desk or via mail using a form that is sent in.
There are five different types of passes including a One Ride pass for $1.50 or a reduced fare of $0.75, a one day Pass for $4.00 and a reduced price of $2.00, a seven day pass for $15 or a reduced fare of $7.50, a 30 day pass for $50 and a reduced fare for $25, and a 20 ride pass for $25 and a reduced fare of $12.50.
Riders over the age of 65, Medicare card holders, students under the age of 18 and persons with disabilities all qualify for reduced fare rates and need to present proper identification which is either a Medicare card or a valid KAT I.D. card. Children under four years of age ride free.
If riders board a bus and are intending to transfer to another bus, they will need to purchase an additional transfer ticket as soon as they board the first bus which costs $0.50 and a reduced fare of $0.25.
Service animals are allowed on board KAT buses, while other animals have to be in pet carriers. While food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed to be brought onto KAT buses, they are not allowed to be eaten or drank.
Free Trolley routes serve downtown Knoxville and UT campus
The free trolley system is set up with four lines that serve the downtown area and UT’s campus. The trolleys run every weekday, but do not run on Saturdays when UT has a home football game or on Sundays.
The Blue trolley line serves the Knoxville Station, the Civic Coliseum and the waterfront pathway. The Green line serves the Old City and Gay Street. The Orange line travels between UT’s campus and downtown. The Red line serves the South waterfront.
The KAT website offersa map of the different trolley routes showing specific stops and route lines.
Paratransit service for those unable to use regular fixed-route buses
KAT offers LIFT, a door-to-door paratransit service, to help those who are unable to use the fixed-route buses. The service is provided as a reservation only service with riders being certified by KAT to use it.
LIFT passengers have to re-apply every two years to keep the LIFT certification up-to-date and the fare for the service is $3.00.