Try out Knoxville Transit with Free Rides Friday

By Mike Steely

If you don’t usually ride the Knoxville City buses or trolleys you may want to step aboard and see what you’ve been missing. While there are lots of parking spaces downtown, the only trouble is finding one. The city is instituting new parking meters and rates, so riding public transit might be a great alternative.

In order to raise awareness of the convenience of transit services, the city is holding “Try Transit Week” from July 11th until the 16th and will feature various activities and events and introduce new improvements. And, that Monday if you’d like, you can take a bus with Mayor Madeline Rogero. She’ll ride the bus to lunch with city employees who have taken advantage of the offer of free bus passes.

“We are still refining a number of details at this point but the main events for the public will be on Friday and Saturday.

“Our Free Rides Friday is an opportunity to try the bus fare-free and we have a new tool to use for the Transit Trip Planner,” Belinda Woodiel-Brill, Director of Communications and Service Department, told The Focus.

“The trip planner can be found on our website,, or you can use Google Maps for the same feature,” she said.

On Tuesday, July 12th you might find a local celebrity on board the Kingston Pike route around lunch time.

State elected officials will ride on Wednesday and will be hosted by KAT for a ride and lunch at Knoxville Transit Station. KAT will also be at Market Square’s Farmers Market that day to inform people of the Free Rides Friday and a separate Saturday event, plus transit-related items will be given away.

On Thursday, the Knoxville City Council is invited to take the inaugural ride on KAT’s newest addition to the fleet: a neighborhood service bus, which will take them to see the progress at the new East Superstop.

Free Rides Friday will introduce the new Google Trip Planner and everyone is invited to take a free bus ride all day.

Neighborhood Groups are encouraged to take the Group Rides to Market Square’s Farmers Market on Saturday and KAT’s booth at the market will provide free passes home and other giveaways to participating neighborhood groups.

Dawn Distler, Director of Transit, said the week is a “great opportunity for us to show the public and our elected officials all the progress we’re making in Knoxville to grow our transit services.”