Knoxville Area Transit is pleased to announce that Mayor Madeline Rogero has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for her efforts in enhancing and promoting transit in Knoxville throughout her two terms in office. Mayor Rogero accepted the award at a ceremony in New York City.
The award recognizes Mayor Rogero’s efforts to focus on the Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) system in Knoxville throughout her time in office. These efforts included fully integrating transit into the city’s internal structure, increasing financial support, and changing the culture around transit at the City.
Rogero’s efforts have resulted in close partnerships between KAT and other City departments, integrating transit into all aspects of the city’s decision-making processes. Partnerships with the Departments of Engineering as well as Redevelopment have resulted in a 44% increase in bus shelters on the street. The Public Service Department coordinates with KAT on winter road clearing, ensuring that KAT buses can keep rolling during snow events, and KAT’s Travel Training program now educates all incoming city employees on commuting via KAT.
Mayor Rogero, with support from City Council, increased financial support for KAT by 20% during her two terms in office, resulting in a 24% increase in hours of service. KAT passengers now enjoy later evening services on most routes and, for the first time, 15-minute peak service on three major corridor routes. KAT has added Wi-Fi on all buses. Transit users can now get real-time information on their bus location and plan their commute by using KAT’s new mobile app.
Mayor Rogero also set the tone and changed the transit culture in Knoxville through riding the bus – first to campaign events, and then as Mayor. Through the Mayor on Board Program, Rogero and members of her staff ride KAT to various events and meetings. Rogero also instituted a City Employee Pass Program, offering passes to City Employees who choose to ride the bus to work.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by the American Public Transportation Association,” Mayor Rogero said. “I’m thankful to work with such an outstanding team. The dedicated KAT staff and multiple City departments have worked together seamlessly to improve our transit infrastructure and services each year while incorporating transit into all our long-range planning. Transit is essential in solving our most challenging climate issues, and I believe we have positioned Knoxville well to take on those challenges.”
“While Mayor Rogero’s time in office ends in December, her impact on transit in Knoxville will resonate for years to come,” says Melissa Roberson, Interim Director of Transit for Knoxville Area Transit. “We are grateful to the Mayor and Council for their support of transit in Knoxville.”