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Listening at Flow - Trolleys on Tap #5 
What a great group and a thoughtful discussion at Flow. We had seniors, graduate students, downtown residents and museums represented, with multiple ideas and comments.

Similar themes from previous listening sessions were brought up, including:
1. Cumberland Avenue service
2. The Old City service
3. Service beyond the current downtown area (Happy Holler, Emory Place, South Knoxville along Sevier Avenue). South Knoxville was discussed initially as a sort of 2-3 years out plan. However, further discussion through the evening ended up with the emphasis that trolleys should remain downtown and the regular fixed route system should connect people in outlying areas to downtown. South Knoxville
4. Summit Towers residents emphasized the aging population, as well as extending service at Summit Towers past 4:00 p.m. and starting earlier than 9:00 a.m. Service on Saturdays was requested as well. Moving the Route 22 – Broadway’s bus stop on Summit Hill to the corner at Walnut would be helpful to Summit Towers residents as well.

Frequency and Hours:
The question was asked about whether or not it would be beneficial to take a route further if it meant less frequent service (buses 20 minutes apart). Some were ok with less frequent service while others were not. Director of Transit, Dawn Distler, explained where we are in the process for getting a real-time phone app for passengers to find out where the bus is.
Discussion at Flow

Some thought later service on Fridays was important, while others in the group did not.

All agreed that a Sunday trolley would be good, perhaps 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Who does the trolley serve?
There was a discussion about the purpose of the trolley system – is it for visitors? Downtown residents? The poor? People who are unable to walk?

The general consensus was that the trolley was intended to serve multiple purposes and that it does not have to be exclusive to one group. The trolley serves visitors to downtown, downtown residents, employees parking in outlying parking, etc.
A museum-based trolley route was proposed, providing service to various attractions and operating at least Thursday through Sunday. Representatives from the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame also mentioned the idea of bringing the trolley through their parking lot to better emphasize the service and their connection to it. Moving the stop closer to the Hall of Fame was also discussed as a possibility.

The service along Hill Avenue near the Marriott was considered important for many reasons including the Hall of Fame, the residents in the area, as well as brand new apartments coming online.

Many like the Gay Street route as well as the service to University Commons. Better shelters were requested.

Service during football games came up as a request and also as a challenge, given the congestion and street closures that occur on game days. In addition, games starting later can end after trolley service ends, leaving people without a return trip potentially. Currently, trolleys do not run on game days.

The challenge of service closer to Market Square was also discussed. Because streets are often closed around Market Square for major events, it makes service there difficult, since detours would have to be in place for each major event – the exact time we would want to bring people there on trolleys.

A representative from Townview Towers came to discuss a fence being built which is blocking trolley access forTownview Towers request their residents along Howard Baker Jr. Avenue. He requested that the trolley system expand to serve Townview, following the current Route 30 – Parkridge service up to Green Elementary Magnet and Townview. He stated that Townview residents need to get out of their building and visit Cal Johnson Recreation center or the fountains in World’s Fair Park. These are free opportunities for people who are low income.

The last Trolleys on Tap Listening Session is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Java in The Old City.  

Posted by bbrill On 06 October, 2015 at 11:26 AM  

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