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 katbus.com 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. 

Oct 13

KAT Routes to Early Voting Locations are Fare-Free

Posted on October 13, 2020 at 9:10 AM by Savannah Kilday

Due to the pandemic, KAT is continuing to operate fare-free to limit close contact on buses and keep passengers and operators safe.  As a result, transit service to several early voting locations also comes free of charge, making it easier than ever to cast your vote. 


“Transportation should never be barrier to voting,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “This is a great opportunity to cast a vote early, avoiding the potentially bigger crowds or longer lines on Election Day. Our Customer Service team at Knoxville Station is available to assist anyone who wishes to use transit to vote during this Early Voting period.  Our team can help plan your route to the voting location, and can provide information from the Knox County Election Commission’s website on what identification passengers will need to bring with them when they go to vote.” 


There are several locations for early voting that are conveniently located directly along KAT bus routes. The list of early voting sites and associated routes is as follows: 

Early Voting Site 

KAT Bus Route 

Downtown West (limited ADA accessibility from Downtown West Blvd. to voting location) 

Route 11 – Kingston Pike 

Love Kitchen 

Route 33 – MLK 

City County Building 

Route 10 - Sequoyah  

Route 11 – Kingston Pike  

Route 17 - Sutherland  

All trolley routes 

New Harvest Park 

Route 33 – MLK (also available via Route 23 – Millertown) 

Knoxville Expo Center 

Route 20 – Central Street/Clinton Hwy 

Route 90 – Crosstown 

Meridian Baptist Church 

Route 41 – Chapman Highway 

Baker Center (October 26-29 only) 

Route 10 - Sequoyah  

Route 11 – Kingston Pike 

Route 17 - Sutherland 


 Early-voting for the Nov. 3 presidential election begins this Wednesday, Oct. 14 and continues through Oct. 29. 


In addition to operating fare-free, KAT is also continuing with safety practices to ensure a healthy and safe experience when riding KAT during this time.  Buses are operating at a half-filled capacity, allowing for physical distancing when riding.  In addition, face coverings are required on all KAT buses, and KAT buses are disinfected twice daily, exceeding CDC guidelines.  Hand sanitizer and masks are available onboard all KAT buses and at Knoxville Station. 

Download Press Release PDF here.

Aug 07

Mayor Kincannon Appoints Isaac Thorne as Director of Transit

Posted on August 7, 2020 at 3:15 PM by Savannah Kilday

Isaac Thorne

Mayor Indya Kincannon has appointed Isaac Thorne to be the Knoxville’s new Director of Transit. Thorne is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Connect Transit in Normal, Illinois. 

“Isaac has a winning track record in the transit industry,” Mayor Kincannon said.  “He is an innovative leader who never loses sight that public transit is a customer-focused service.

“I am also confident that he is the right person to continue to move KAT toward an all-electric fleet as part of our City’s sustainability strategy.” 

Over the past several years, KAT has expanded its alternative fuel options, and now nearly a third of the fleet consists of hybrid electric vehicles.

Thorne will be moving here after nearly 13 years with Connect Transit, where, prior to serving as CEO, he served as Chief Operating Officer, Interim Transportation Director, Procurement Director and Operations Manager. 


I am excited to be working with the employees of the City of Knoxville, Knoxville Area Transit and most importantly, our customers,” Thorne said. 


“It is an honor to be trusted to lead an exceptional transit system that has been nationally recognized in the beautiful City of Knoxville.” 

Thorne was i
nstrumental in helping to transform his current employer into the 2015 American Public Transportation Association Outstanding Public Transit System of the Year. That same year, he was also named to the prestigious list of Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40. 


Thorne succeeds Transit Director Dawn Distler, who left in 2018 to direct a larger regional transit system in Akron, Ohio, and Interim Director Melissa Roberson, who will return to her position as KAT’s Chief Administrative Officer. 


“Melissa has done a tremendous job advancing KAT’s place as an industry leader,” Mayor Kincannon said. “I thank her and appreciate all her hard work, especially during the recent challenges of COVID-19.”  


Thorne’s first day will be August 31.