Knoxville Area Transit’s fourth free trolley line – the new Red Line, connecting a part of the South Waterfront and downtown – is scheduled to begin service on Monday, Aug. 19.
The trolley line will follow a circular route from the Trolley Superstop on Main Avenue south across the Gay Street Bridge, west on Blount Avenue, then north across the Henley Bridge back to Main.
From the Superstop, a trolley passenger can access the free trolley lines to the University of Tennessee, the northern end of downtown and the Old City, the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, and other destinations.
The Red Line will operate Monday through Saturday, with a trolley arriving at designated stops every 7 minutes. The trolleys will run Monday through Thursday until 8 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m.
The Red Line trolley service is not permanently funded. The current City budget provides $300,000 for the one-year Red Line demonstration project. The service will be evaluated in the coming months to determine whether there is enough ridership to justify making the route permanent.
The addition of trolley service comes as more than $110 million in new private development has been reinvested in the South Waterfront near the foot of the Gay Street and Henley bridges. That includes the $60 million One Riverwalk apartment complex, the $40 million 303 Flats student apartments and the $12 million makeover of an abandoned medical office building for the new Regal headquarters.
When all One Riverwalk construction is completed, about 1,200 people will soon be working and living in this stretch of the South Waterfront, which just a few years ago was a blighted vacant brownfield.
A continuous half-mile riverwalk, a 37,500-square-foot public event space adjacent to the Henley Bridge, and a public corridor connecting Blount Avenue to the riverwalk are under construction. The Riverwalk Garage (formerly the Baptist Hospital Garage) offers free nighttime and weekend garage parking.