With the continued increasing workforce levels, Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) is proposing a return to previous service levels, in particular on Sundays and later in the evening on some routes. In addition, KAT is proposing minor route changes to routes in South Knoxville. If approved by the Knoxville Transportation Authority, these improved services would be effective on April 8, 2024.
“As we continue to hire and train new bus operators, we have the opportunity to increase some service levels in April,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “This is a great first step in returning pre-COVID bus service and helps us prepare for the KAT Reimagined new route network launch we are planning for August of this year.”
- Some of the proposed changes include:
- All Sunday service returns to pre-COVID service spans, with service from 8:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. (service currently ends at 5:15 p.m.)
- Weekday and Saturday routes previously cut in the evenings return to previous evening service levels.
- Route 42 Hospital bus returns to 30-minute service (currently once/hour) on weekdays
- A routing change for South Knoxville routes that will allow easier access in and out of downtown and Knoxville Station
A full list of proposed service improvements and route changes can be found on KAT’s website at www.katbus.com.
As with many industries, KAT and the transit industry in general experienced significant workforce shortages both during and after the pandemic, and KAT has been gradually building that workforce back up with a renewed focus on recruitment, marketing, and training. As new hires continue to onboard and go through the months long training process, KAT anticipates meeting the bus operator target of 200 in time for the KAT Reimagined network kick-off, currently scheduled for the end of August.