• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google+
  • Share via Email
Here's what we've got: Proposed changes 
After an extensive review of input, data and surveys, we’ve timed some routes, run some numbers and have come up with some ideas. While we couldn’t do it all and stay budget neutral, we do think we were able to respond to some themes that we heard consistently from our outreach. Here’s some of what we’re proposing:
1. Service to The Old City every 10 minutes.
2. Later service on weekdays – until 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays
3. All routes have Saturday service.
4. More consistent service – we’re putting the routes on timed schedules, with information at several stops, letting you know when exactly to expect that trolley to arrive, and we’re giving some decent recovery time so that trolleys don’t fall behind.
5. Efficient ways to get to and from UT from The Old City as well as from the new apartments to the east.
6. Access to all routes from one central location – a location with immediate transfers or minimal wait times, shelters and information.

How is all this possible, do you ask? With three new but similar routes:
1. Route 1: UT/World’s Fair Park. This route follows the same routing through UT and University Commons as the current Vol Line, then meets the other two routes downtown on Locust Street. Service 7 am to 8 pm Monday - Thursday, and until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Scheduled service every 15 minutes.
2. Route 2: Waterfront Connection. This route serves the east side including the transit center, Civic Coliseum parking garage, apartments on Hill Avenue and the business district (Main Street), connecting with the other two routes on Locust Street. Service 6:45 am – 8 pm Monday – Thursday, and until 10 pm Friday and Saturday. Service every 7 minutes (15 minutes on Saturdays).
3. Route 3: The Old City and Gay Street. This route serves the heart of The Old City as well as the free parking east of The Old City, then loops through downtown past Summit Towers along Summit Hill, connecting with the other two routes on Locust Street, then Main to Gay Street back to The Old City. Service 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and until 10 pm Friday and Saturday. Service every 10 minutes.

Map showing proposed trolley changes

Ok this is a pretty small map, so click here for a larger pdf version.

This plan does not include direct service to either Summit Towers or the Marriott, so some further explanation is required here. Taking these side trips for these two destinations has always been tricky with a 40-foot bus, and by keeping the trolley on the major corridors of downtown we are able to more efficiently and safely serve all who are enjoying downtown. Having said that, we know this is a big change for these two locations. We want these residents and visitors to continue to enjoy the trolley service, so we are working on adding a new stop and shelter along Summit Hill Avenue to provide an even better waiting experience to go along with the expanded hours of service for Summit Towers, and we are looking at improvements along Hill Avenue for the Marriott as well.

This plan does not includes direct service from Knoxville Station to UT as currently exists with the Vol Line. However, there are several options to reach UT from Knoxville Station, including Route 11 – Kingston Pike, which departs from the platform every 15 minutes during peak. The trolley from the station will run every 7-8 minutes and will connect with the UT trolley on Locust. The timing of the trolleys will make this connection work much more reliably.

What else do we need for success? Here are some other pieces to the puzzle that we will be working on:
1. Improved lighting at the free parking adjacent to The Old City, with a very identifiable trolley stop with route information.
2. Possible on-sidewalk signage for some attractions that aren’t directly on the trolley route, in particular the waterfront, The Knoxville Museum of Art, and Market Square. Essentially we’re thinking about a ‘follow the dotted line’ concept to better connect these places with the trolley system.
3. A nice transfer location on Locust, complete with shelters and information.

What else would be good to have? We’ll be looking at enhancing the bus stops themselves – we got some great ideas for more attractive bus stop signage, improved information, etc. so we’ll be working toward that as well – it just might not be in place by May.

What we heard a lot that we couldn’t address: Trolley service expansion. We heard you – expand to Emory Place, Happy Holler, Fourth & Gill, Parkridge, Sevier Avenue. Expanding the trolleys and staying budget neutral would result in a pretty infrequent trolley system. For now, we’re going to be working with these neighborhoods to take a look at the transit service that exists now and asking how can we improve it and encourage ridership between neighborhoods and downtown.

NEXT STEPS in the process: The Knoxville Transportation Authority (KTA) was introduced to the idea at their meeting on November 19th. They will hold a public hearing on January 28th, then will vote in February (meeting details below). Your job: provide comments on the proposed changes – did we hit the mark or are we way off? If you like it, or mostly like it, be sure to let us know! If you hate it, then you will let us know, right?

Ways to provide input:
1. E-mail us. Go to www.katbus.com and click on the “Contact us” link.
2. Call us at 637-3000 and let the Transit Agent know that you want to comment on the proposed changes.
3. Attend one of two public open houses to be held in January:
a. Lawson McGee Library on Friday, January 15th from 9:00 a.m. to noon
b. Knoxville Station Community Room on Thursday, January 21st from 4pm – 6pm
4. Attend the public hearing on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 400 Main Street
5. Send us comments by mail to KAT Trolley Plan, 301 Church Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915.

The board will see a final proposal and vote at their regular meeting on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 400 Main Street. If the plan is approved, then the changes will take effect on Monday, May 2, 2016.
Posted by bbrill On 02 December, 2015 at 12:38 PM  25 Comments

Comments
Kelly Absher (Guest) said On 28 January, 2016 at 10:50 AM
When proposals and changes are suggested I like to think they come from a place of good intentions, usually wanting to make things more efficient and save money. With the proposed trolley route changes, I do believe the intentions are good and not suggested in malice. One of the suggested route changes is no longer servicing Gay St. past Summit Hill, the 100 block and past Depot, eliminating the trolley stops on Jackson/Gay and Depot/Gay. The proposed route has the trolley entering into the Old City on Central from Summit Hill, right onto Jackson, with a pick up for people parking in the free lot past Barley’s, come around and a right onto Willow, left on Central, right onto Summit and left onto Gay St. The Old City has businesses and residences, more to come, and it should have trolley service. However, we can’t take from one to give to another. A great deal of time, talent, and resources have been invested in opening businesses along the 100 block and W. Jackson, such as Cru Bistro, Patricia Nash, Sweet P’s BBQ, Knox Whiskey Works, and Balter Beerworks, also the new businesses and residences opening along Depot and surrounding area. If we are encouraging entrepreneurs and small businesses to bring their talent and product to our downtown area then we need to make sure all tools are provided to them to succeed. With the proposed trolley route, the area going north after Summit Hill is ostracized from the trolley service. One proposed solution is when the trolley enters the Old City on Central the trolley stop can be the four-way stop at Central/Jackson, the trolley proceeds north, left onto Depot, and left onto Gay St. The rebuttal for this proposed solution is the trolley may be held up if a train is passing through and put the trolley behind schedule. Valid point, but there are a number of scenarios that can throw the trolley off schedule on the proposed new route, ex: beer or food truck deliveries in the Old City on Central, street closures for festivals or concerts, etc. With the new proposed route, a concern I have is how will an individual in a wheelchair or using a walker access the Old City trolley stop if they are coming from the north side of town. To reach the stop they have to somehow get their wheelchair up and across the train tracks. If they enter the Old City using Jackson, the decline of the ramp could prove most difficult, also the ramp will be under construction in the future so that route will not be an option. The Old City does need trolley service as does Gay St. running through the 100 block and by Depot. From my observation and experience with the trolley system, there are two trolleys that run the Gay St. route. Maybe the best solution is compromise. Have one trolley be The Old City Trolley, the other trolley be the Gay Street Trolley. There is absolutely no way to make 100% of the people, 100% happy, 100% of the time, but an attempt can be made to make a majority happy. Just like the city and KAT, my dialogue and proposal comes from a place of good intentions.  
Guest (Guest) said On 27 January, 2016 at 11:36 PM
I appreciate the trolley service. But I would think the main focus of the public transit would be connecting neighborhoods to businesses. Not sure I understand changes that don't match where the change in development is happening. Clearly all the development is happening is up Gay and Central.   
Christian (Guest) said On 21 January, 2016 at 4:50 PM
This looks great! Thanks so much for this.  
Guest (Guest) said On 21 January, 2016 at 12:40 PM
Are you still having the open house at the Knoxville Station Community Room on Thursday, January 21st from 4pm – 6pm?  
Allie (Guest) said On 20 January, 2016 at 7:12 AM
I think better scheduling and planned stop times are great. But I do not like the changes to the Vol line.   
scott (Guest) said On 19 January, 2016 at 4:09 PM
Can the trolley not continue down Gay to N Gay and turn right on Depot and then right on Central and then continue on the proposed route? Doubling up on the Summit portion doesn't seem to make sense. Elimination the 100 Block of Gay seems like a mistake.   
Jessica (Guest) said On 19 January, 2016 at 2:59 PM
I appreciate the effort to revise the trolley lines for all to enjoy! I live with my family in 4th and Gill, and my husband and I both work downtown. I'm very disappointed by the proposed changes to the Gay Street line. From what I can see, the next closest stop for us to hop a trolley would be on Central in the Old City. I have a feeling we'll simply ride our bikes or walk, and stop using the trolley to get downtown. I wish that extending the line to Emory Place had made the cut. If it's still up for debate, I feel very strongly that Emory Place is a great place to connect with the Crafty Bastard Brewery, the new location of Remedy Coffee, and other businesses on the horizon. I think you'd be surprised with the amount of residents of 4th and Gill and ONK that you'd see on the trolley going in to downtown. By implementing the changes to the Gay Street line, effectively, you're isolating trolley users from the 100 block of S Gay street, and all of North Gay Street. It should be noted all of the tenants now operating out of the Regas Building (approximately 75 people), as well as the pending development of the rest of the block, will be further isolated from the trolley line. The non-profits who share space in the Regas building all access restaurants, banks, the post office downtown, as well as meet regularly with other folks from downtown on a daily basis. The free parking under the I-40 bridge behind the Regas Building wouldn't have a trolley stop anywhere near it. Both personally (as a 4&G resident) and professionally (as an employee in the Regas Building), I can't get on board with the proposed Route 2 changes. The more I think about it, the more disappointed I feel. Thank you for soliciting comments!  
anne (Guest) said On 17 January, 2016 at 12:23 PM
this new plan will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the many elderly and handicapped residents of summit towers. please reconsider that route. thank you  
Linn Slocum (Guest) said On 15 January, 2016 at 11:04 AM
Nice to see the comments in favor of trolley service restored to the Old City. I believe it will be beneficial to the business owners, there. Two years ago the trolley came down Depot Avenue with all the development taking place on Depot Ave. it would be good to see that happen again, as well.  
Glen Vesser (Guest) said On 15 January, 2016 at 8:26 AM
I work in the Old City and would love to have trolley service. It would allow me to have lunch in other parts of downtown, and it could bring more people to visit the Old City.  
Chad (Guest) said On 07 January, 2016 at 2:43 PM
As a business owner in the Old City, I am very pleased to see a proposal which brings Trolley service back down here. This route will create additional opportunities for residents and visitors to easily travel between campus, Market Square and the Old City allowing each area to benefit more fully when the other is experiencing an increase in visitor traffic. I do agree with an earlier comment about finding ways to highlight the "FREE PARKING" under the James White Parkway as part of this proposal.  
Robert McGinnis (Guest) said On 07 January, 2016 at 2:09 PM
I can live with it, as long as there is a dedicated stop at Church & Gay. I send a lot of visitors downtown to the History Center & Market Square area & and I would like not to make them ride all the way to the transfer station at Locust Street & then change trolleys to get to those areas. Also to restate an earlier complaint with your information system. Either answer the phone after 4:15 or turn-off the automatic answering service that instructs you to wait for the next available agent. It is insulting for some one to call, & never get an answer!   
Dana (Guest) said On 07 January, 2016 at 10:39 AM
I agree that Emory Place would be a very useful stop on the Old City line rather than just going up and down Summit Hill. In addition, the Waterfront Connection doesn't seem to go anywhere that wouldn't require a connection. Connections don't really work for such a compact area.   
Anthony (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 10:48 PM
As a UT student who likes using the parking garage near the civic auditorium rather than UT's infamous parking, this idea wouldn't be very ideal for me. I enjoy the fact that the Vol trolley currently runs from that area to UT and this plan would complicate and lengthen my commute. As for the improved timing of trolleys and access to the Old City, I think those are fantastic ideas. But ultimately if the Vol trolley as we know it would have to be eliminated than I'm not in support of this plan.  
Anne (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 5:31 PM
Thank you so much!!! We've been wanting this for a long time.  
Amelia (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 4:20 PM
Why was the vol trolley eliminated?  
TractThoseTrolleys (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 3:59 PM
When are you going to get the trolleys tracked so you can determine when they are going to reach a stop. Pretty common tech this day in age. I am not even asking for an app. Webpage would be fine.  
Arthur Benjamin Carmichael III (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 2:51 PM
My one suggestion is that the "The Old City and Gay Street" line's name be changed to the "The Old City/Gay Street/Free Parking" line to emphasise the free parking aspect. If we want downtown workers & visitors to use that lot, we should make it obvious that it exists and has reliable transportation into the rest of Downtown.  
Steve (Guest) said On 06 January, 2016 at 1:09 PM
How about lengthening service from Gay/Market to the Old City to midnight on weekends? A lot of the bars' music doesn't start until 10 pm and this way a person could take in at least one set and still catch the trolley back to parking areas.  
Ron (Guest) said On 04 January, 2016 at 4:17 PM
This is a well-intentioned effort, but I don't see it as a significant improvement since it cuts service in one place in order to improve service in another. Suggested improvements are fine, but if respondents had known the trade-offs, would they still have considered their suggestions for new service more important than the existing service that would have to be cut to accommodate them?  
Nancy Thompson (Guest) said On 28 December, 2015 at 9:14 PM
What are the people that have disabilities to do about catching the trolle.The ones that live at town view towers and at summit hill apartments. There are some that can not walk those extra blocks that it will take to get the trolley. And can not afford the cost of the bus  
Rick (Guest) said On 21 December, 2015 at 10:22 AM
Eliminating the Market street and Clinch stop for the Vol trolley must be a mistake. No other intermediate stop has the high number of riders as on the Vol Trolley route. This stop helps to serve as the best connection to the other trolleys. I've discussed with many of your trolley drivers that the Clinch and Market stop has the highest number of riders, so why is it being deleted? Seems like the plan fails to improve service and instead works to deny service to many handicap and homeless people who depend on the Clinch and Market stop as very important. I ride the trolley every day for classes and the Market/Clinch stop is my best connection. Moving to Locust Street makes the connection harder, if not impossible, for Gay Street connections. Please correct this oversight.   
Melissa (Guest) said On 16 December, 2015 at 12:50 PM
I think you mixed up Route #2 and Route #3, reversing them between the blog writing and the map making.  
George (Guest) said On 04 December, 2015 at 9:51 AM
I don't get it. You got lots of comments asking for some rational terminus for the Gay Street line (e.g. Emory Place rather than random-parking-lot-under-the-interstate), and the response was instead divert it entirely to the east? ... so that downtown has convenient transit to ... Knox Rail Salvage ...? I think we'd all agree that one of the fundamentals of transit policy is the idea of nodes, and that one of the fundamentals of urban planning is a sense of place. If you can get the two to work together -- that is, having your nodes end up *someplace* people might actually want to be (e.g. not standing under the interstate next to an industrial warehouse) -- it just has to be for the best, doesn't it?  
Herbert (Guest) said On 03 December, 2015 at 7:20 AM
It is weird that Market Square/Krutch Park won't have a stop. That's where all the people are. Also it is disappointing that you're not proposing a special tourist trolley for Saturdays. I thought that was a good suggestion. Couldn't you pull trolleys from other routes on Saturday to make that happen?  
Leave Your Comment
Security Measure