Breaking News
More () »

KAT prepares to expand trolley service, Summit Towers residents excited for change

Starting in May Knoxville Area Transit will roll out changes aimed at making the city's trolleys more accessible to people living downtown.

About three to four people an hour use the trolley at Summit Towers - folks say they're ready for that service to expand even if it means giving up how often the trolley stops.

“We took a big ol map, set in on the table, sat down and over a cup of coffee or a beer and talked about trolleys and transit where they'd like to go and what they'd like to see.”

That's how Knoxville Transit Director Dawn Distler explains the meetings between the city and the community.
The aim of those meetings is to map a new plan for the trolley system.

Starting May 2nd KAT plans to run more service, run trolleys later into the evening, and get people to and from the Old City. The plan also means big changes for folks at Summit Towers.

Currently KAT trolleys stop at the assisted living facility roughly every 20 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Under the new plan - the trolley would only stop once an hour, but riders would gain Saturday stops.

“They're going to get an extra day's worth of service, but the frequency of the service has been adjusted. It's still going to come to the front door, only it's going to be once an hour instead of 4 times an hour,” explained Distler.

Some people have been outspoken against this plan, but residents say there are number of good things coming their way.

“To get Saturday service is going to be a gift for people that need to get to church, or bible study, or anything else,” said Deborah Carter.

For many it means a shorter walk when trying to get around downtown.

“Now I don't have to try and get all the way to Krutch Park to catch the trolley, I’m very happy and pleased with it,” said Renee Griffin.

“How many properties and buildings that you live at literally get a trolley right at your back door? That’s a very cool service,” said Evan Stone.

Another step in this plan is to shorten the routes for trolleys. That would allow drivers to turn around quicker and stick better to the schedule.