May 08

KAT Operations Leadership Sees Changes

Posted on May 8, 2019 at 9:57 AM by Savannah Kilday

After a career spanning over 30 years in transit in Knoxville, Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) announces the retirement of Chief Operating Officer Beverly Campbell, and consequently the hiring of a new Chief Human Resources Officer, Julie Glibbery, as well as the promotion of Odell Draper to Chief Operations Officer.

Beverly began her career at KAT in 1987 as a systems analyst before becoming the Director of Human Resources.  Later, she became Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all Human Resources and Operations functions including the bus operator staff of over 257, dispatchers and supervisors, and all managers and directors within the department.

With her departure, the Operations functions will be handled by
Odell Draper, former Director of Operations and Safety and now Chief Operations Officer. Draper began his career at KAT as a bus operator in 2007, ascending the ranks through various supervisory positions to become Director of Operations and Safety.  He will now oversee all bus operators, managers, and supervisors within the operations division.  Draper, a recent Mass Transit Magazine “40 Under 40” award winner, has been training under Beverly’s leadership for several years.

Julie Glibbery brings a wealth of Human Resources experience to KAT.  Prior to joining KAT, Julie’s broad career in human resources included experience in the automotive, aeronautical, marine industries as well as with a major federal contractor. In her current position as Chief Human Resources Officer she is responsible for employee/labor relations, benefits, compensation, compliance and staffing for KAT.

Download this News Release as a PDF here.

Apr 22

KAT Offers Free Rides for National Get on Board Day

Posted on April 22, 2019 at 9:39 AM by Savannah Kilday

Get on Board Day 2019
Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) will join with around 200 other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in National Get On Board Day on Thursday, April 25.  KAT will offer service fare-free to encourage the public to ride and show their support for transit.

“Now is a great time to try transit in Knoxville,” says Melissa Roberson, Interim Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “Our new KATbus Tracker app can track your bus in real time as well as plan your trip.  Or, if you prefer, the texting feature at each bus stop also offers real-time bus arrival times.  Once on the bus, the free wi-fi is a great way to get some work done or just relax with some good music.”

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2019 National Get On Board Day is a day that encourages people to support public transportation and showcases the benefits it brings to communities.  Each weekday in the U.S., 34 million people board public transportation.

Additionally, public transportation is a cornerstone of local economies in urban, suburban, and rural communities. In fact, public transportation helps to make a community economically prosperous and competitive.  Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, powering community growth and revitalization. 

“There are so many good reasons to use transit,” says Roberson.  “Whether it’s because you want to save money, reduce your environmental impact, enjoy a walk to and from the bus stop, or just enjoy letting someone else do the driving, we encourage you to hop on for Get on Board Day, and let us know why you ride.”

KAT is encouraging passengers to use social media on the 25th to share why public transit is important to them.

WHAT:        Free rides on KAT for National Get On Board Day

WHERE:     Throughout the City of Knoxville

WHEN:        Thursday, April 25, 2019

Download this Press Release as a PDF here. 
Mar 27

KAT Announces Real-Time Bus Tracker App

Posted on March 27, 2019 at 8:34 AM by Savannah Kilday

KATbus Tracker AppKnoxville Area Transit (KAT) is pleased to announce the long-awaited availability of KATbus Tracker – a real-time bus tracking and trip planning app now available for Android and iPhone users.  The app allows users to find their bus on a map in real time, plan trips, save favorite stop locations, and find out about detours and other alerts.  Using the bus GPS system, the app is able to estimate the arrival time at the stop selected by the user. The app is free to download and was produced in partnership with Clever Devices Ltd.

This app is the second part of a passenger technology roll-out for KAT, with the first being the real-time texting feature released in January of this year.  Each bus stop in the KAT system (over 1,200) has a unique stop ID number; texting that stop number to #22827 provides immediate next bus estimates back to the user.

“This tracking technology is an essential element for transit passengers,” says Melissa Roberson, Interim Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “Knowing how soon your bus will arrive, and also seeing it on a map provides a new level of comfort when riding transit.  It is incredibly reassuring to know that the bus hasn’t already passed you by, and even better, when it’s coming.”

KAT’s theme for the roll-out of the KATbus Tracker App is ‘It’s about time.’

“We love this slogan, because a real-time app is all about more efficiently using your time and knowing what time the bus will arrive.  But thought of another way, we acknowledge that the public has been asking for an app like this for several years, so in that sense, it’s also about time,” says Roberson.

KAT is hopeful that passengers will take full advantage of this new app.  If the data from the earlier release of the texting feature is any indication, the app should be popular.  In February alone, 730 individuals sent 6,131 next-bus text requests from 502 different bus stop locations.  The texting numbers continue to climb.

“Transit can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before,” says Roberson.  “This app helps alleviate the concern of where the bus is, which is a huge step in encouraging people to hop on board.”

Download this news release as a PDF here.