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More UT students are choosing to ride a bus to get around campus.

UT says the number of riders on "The T" bus system this semester is up 55% over last year. The system provides free transportation to students on campus.

The university changed contracts this summer, switching service from Knoxville Area Transit buses to First Transit.

The buses have a new Volunteer look, complete with lots of orange and Smokey. UT officials believe the increased visibility is one of the reasons for the jump in use.

"You can't miss the orange buses running around campus. Those have been so well received by the students and the campus. So the visibility is so much higher than it was," said Mark Hairr, the Director of UT Parking and Transit Services.

"The T" also added new technology to better communicate stops to passengers, and make it easy for students to check bus routes, stops and schedules from a smartphone or computer.

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