Dec 21

KAT’s new Temporary Reduced Fare Structure Announced

Posted on December 21, 2020 at 11:27 AM by Savannah Kilday

New Reduced Fares-Feb. 2021
KAT has announced a return to charging fares, but with a new, temporary reduced fare structure that provides COVID recovery and relief from the economic impacts of the pandemic.   The new temporary fare structure, effective on Monday, February 1, 2021, is intended not only to provide some economic relief, but to also streamline passenger boardings, making them faster and limiting interactions between bus operators and passengers for improved safety.  The base fare will change from the previous fare of $1.50 down to $1.00.  Seniors, passengers with disabilities, and students K-12 (SDS) will have a base fare of $0.50 (previously $0.75). 


The new fare temporary structure is as follows: 

Fare Type 


Previous fare 

One Ride/Base Fare 

$1.00 (Regular)/ $0.50 (SDS) 

$1.50 (Regular) /$0.75 (SDS) 

Day Pass 

$2.00 (Regular) / $1.00 (SDS) 

$4.00 (Regular) / $2.00 (SDS) 

30-Day Pass 

$30.00 (Regular) / $15.00 (SDS) 

$50.00 (Regular) / $25.00 (SDS) 

20-Ride Pass 

$15.00 (Regular) / $7.50 (SDS) 

$25.00 (Regular) / $12.50 (SDS) 

Semester Pass 

$130 (remains the same


Lift Paratransit Ride 




With this new fare structure, 7-day passes and transfer passes are eliminated.  


“This new fare structure will help provide relief to working families as they recover from the economic challenges of the pandemic,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville.  “We have been very fortunate to have the support of the City of Knoxville along with federal COVID relief funding which allowed for us to operate fare-free, improving safety and reducing close interactions on our buses.  With the new streamlined temporary fare structure, we hope to continue operating safely while re-implementing our fare system.” 


The pandemic has created multiple challenges for transit: while providing trips for essential workers, KAT also had to limit seating on buses for better social distancing, which reduced capacity.  Fare-free service has meant more people riding more often, and has too often resulted in buses having to leave behind those going to jobs and other locations due to the half-capacity requirement.  In addition, a reduced workforce due to COVID has further reduced KAT’s capabilities, forcing KAT to operate on reduced service levels, further challenging those essential workers using the service. 


“It’s been the perfect storm,” says Thorne.  “But, we are hopeful that this new fare structure, along with promising news of the vaccine will begin to bring KAT back to a more normal operating system.” 


For the time being, KAT continues current safety protocols of providing masks and hand sanitizer on all vehicles, performing regular cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles, and reminding passengers of CDC safety recommendations. 


KAT hopes to keep the new temporary fare structure in place for at least six months. 

Nov 30

KAT Honors Rosa Parks with an Open Seat on Every Bus

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 12:48 PM by Savannah Kilday

On Tuesday, December 1, KAT will pay tribute to Rosa Parks by keeping one seat open on every bus.  The seat will feature a placard recognizing the contribution made by Parks in the fight for racial justice and equality, and how the small act of sitting down on a city bus changed the course of history in the United States. 


Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955 after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a 381-day boycott of the city’s transit system by African Americans which led to the Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on public transportation systems unconstitutional.  


“Rosa Parks’s seemingly small act of courage in the fight for racial justice had enormous consequences,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville.  “We honor that courage and the work of past civil rights leaders, while recognizing the responsibility we all have to continue to advance efforts to achieve racial equity across our city and our nation.” 
Rosa Parks Bus Seat Signage

Download Press Release PDF here.

Oct 22

KAT announces temporary service reductions to begin Monday, November 9

Posted on October 22, 2020 at 9:49 AM by Savannah Kilday

Effective Monday, November 9, 2020, Knoxville Area Transit will be reducing weekday service on some routes as a result of a workforce shortage.  This shortage is NOT due to increased COVID-19 cases amongst employees, but rather, it is due to employees following proper CDC guidelines of quarantining when required or staying home when feeling sick. With every effort to maintain as much service as possible, KAT will be making the changes listed below to KAT routes.  Additional buses will be dispatched as needed and available during this time.  The routes with service reductions are listed below, and this change will likely be in effect through mid-January. 


Weekday service reductions: 

Route 11 – Kingston Pike – service every 30 minutes 

Route 17 – Sutherland – service once an hour 

Route 20 – Central – service once an hour 

Route 22 – Broadway – service every 30 minutes 

Route 31 – Magnolia – service every 30 minutes 

Route 32 – Dandridge – service once an hour 

Route 34 – Burlington – service once an hour 

Route 40 – South Knoxville – service once an hour 

Route 45 – Vestal – service once an hour 

Orange Line Trolley – ends at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings 

Blue Line Trolley – ends at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings 

Green Line Trolley – service every 20 minutes, ends at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings 


All other weekday routes will maintain their current schedules, and weekend service will remain the same, with the exception of evening trolley services described above.   Detailed information on schedule changes can be found at or by calling 865-637-3000. 

Maintaining Safety Precautions 

  • In an effort to maintain proper social distancing, KAT routes will still operate fare-free and passengers are encouraged to enter through the back doors.   
  • Seating on buses is limited to half of regular capacity, and additional buses are dispatched as available when buses reach that capacity.   
  • Properly worn face coverings are required on all KAT buses, as well as at Knoxville Station, and face masks and hand sanitizer dispensers are available on all buses and at Knoxville Station. 
  • Buses are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. 


The public is strongly encouraged to limit transit use to essential trips only to ensure that Knoxville’s essential workforce is able to travel via transit.