Apr 18

Masks No Longer Required on KAT Vehicles or at KAT Facilities

Posted on April 18, 2022 at 8:54 PM by Becca James

Due to federal judge ruling, masks not required on KAT vehicles and at KAT facilities until further notice

A federal judge has struck down the CDC’s requirement that masks must be worn on mass transit, so effective immediately and until further notice, KAT will not be enforcing a mask mandate on buses or at transit facilities.

KAT buses and facilities will, however, continue to provide masks to anyone who requests one. The CDC still recommends wearing masks on public transit.
Mar 24

KAT Seeks Public Response to Two Concepts for a New Transit Future

Posted on March 24, 2022 at 9:32 AM by Becca James

KAT Seeks Public Response to Two Concepts for a New Transit Future 

Knoxville, TN – What should the future of public transit look like in Knoxville and what are our biggest community priorities for transit? KAT wants the citizens of Knoxville to help decide by responding to two concepts of what a new bus network could look like. Both concepts show how the KAT bus network could be run differently within its existing budget. These two concepts are not proposals, but rather a means to determine community priorities. 

The two concepts and the public response to them is part of the first phase of the KAT Reimagined planning process. This is a year-long planning study led by KAT in partnership with Knoxville Regional TPO and many community partners, to analyze the current KAT bus network and recommend changes to the system. 

Now until April 22, KAT invites the public to learn more about these two concepts by reading more at our project website: www.katreimagined.com , participating in public meetings, and taking the public survey (available at the project website). KAT will be engaging the public in multiple ways in April to get responses from riders and the general public. 

KAT will host in person public meetings on April 7th and April 9th in addition to a virtual public meeting on April 12th to explain these concepts and answer questions. Details for participating in these public meetings is available at our project website, www.katreimagined.com.  

KAT’s consultant team and staff will also be meeting bus riders and the public at various events to ask about these concepts with a paper version of this survey. For up-to-date information on when and where staff will be, visit www.katreimagined.com

Feedback from the public survey and meetings will guide decisions by the Knoxville Transportation Authority Board to decide how KAT should balance important but competing priorities.  

To stay involved in the Reimagine KAT study, join the email list at our website www.katreimagined.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/knoxvilleareatransit  and follow us on Twitter @kat_bus or Instagram @kat_transit. 

Jan 19

KAT Receives Grants for Bus Stop Improvements, Electric Charging Infrastructure

Posted on January 19, 2022 at 2:56 PM by Belinda Woodiel-Brill

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) has received notification from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) of two project funding awards:  a proposed Bus Stop Improvement Project has been funded, along with funding for electric charging infrastructure at Knoxville Station Transit Center.

The Bus Stop Improvement grant is funded through the IMPROVE Transit Investment Grant Program, and will be dedicated toward improving bus stops throughout the KAT service area, adding shelters, benches, and other enhanced waiting features such as real time bus predictions via electronic signage.  The grant is for $900,000.  The City of Knoxville previously dedicated $300,000 to bus stop improvements, making the total $1.2 million toward improving the on-street experience for the riding public.

“We are so pleased to be able to make the much-needed investments in on-street transit enhancements,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We are grateful to the City of Knoxville for their support of this, as well as TDOT.  We are eager to begin these improvements.”

KAT is currently establishing priorities for bus stop improvements, and will announce the plan in more detail in the coming weeks.  The Bus Stop Improvement priorities list will be based upon data of KAT's busiest boarding locations, along with passenger requests for amenities, and feasibility factors.  The public will be encouraged to comment on the draft priorities list before the program is finalized.

In addition to the IMPROVE Act funding, KAT also received TDOT funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program for electric bus in-route overhead charging infrastructure.  KAT will receive $1,600,000 in federal CMAQ funds, with a $400,000 local match required.  The in-route charging infrastructure will allow KAT’s new fleet of electric vehicles to operate beyond an initial full charge, using a rapid charge technology to keep the bus in service through the day.

The charging infrastructure will be installed at Knoxville Station Transit Center.

“On-street improvements and electric charging infrastructure keep KAT and the City of Knoxville moving forward on a sustainable path of a better transit experience, encouraging people to choose KAT instead of driving alone,” says Thorne.