Knoxville Area Transit

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Knoxville Area Transit
Knoxville Area Transit logo.png
Slogan Ride For Change
Founded 1967
Headquarters 301 Church Avenue
Locale Knoxville, TN
Service area Knox County, Tennessee, United States of America
Service type transit bus, paratransit
Routes 23
Stops 11,000
Destinations 234
Hubs 2
Stations 1
Lounge 66
Fleet 100
Annual ridership 3.6 million per year
Fuel type Gasoline, Diesel
Operator Amalgamated Transit Union local #1164.
Chief executive Dawn Distler, Director

Knoxville Area Transit, commonly referred to as KAT or KAT Bus, is the operator of public transportation in Knoxville, Tennessee. Twenty-five routes operate. Service on KAT routes operate weekdays and Saturdays with route 11, 12, 20, 22, 23, 31, 33, 34 and 41 offering Sunday service. All routes, except for routes 16, 19, 44 and 90 start at the Knoxville Station in Downtown. The Knoxville Trolley is a free shuttle service which provides service to the university and the downtown area.[1] KAT formerly operated the transit service for the University of Tennessee, known as The T.[2]


Public transportation in Knoxville dates back to 1876 when the first street cars of the Knoxville Street Railway Company were pulled by horses and mules along tracks on Gay Street. Since then, the transit system has undergone considerable changes, beginning in 1890 with the conversion from animal-drawn to electric-powered streetcars. In 1910, the system serviced 11 million passengers each year on 42 miles of track, introducing buses to serve the streetcar system's feeder routes in 1929. By the late 1940s, the system had mainly switched from electric streetcars to all buses, with electric streetcars making their last run in 1947. Later, in 1958, a bus service to the University of Tennessee was added to the system. The bus service continued to get upgrades, with air-conditioned GMC buses added to the Knoxville transit fleet in 1972.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Knoxville transit system went through some internal changes, first moving into a new facility on Magnolia Avenue in 1989 and then changing its name from "K-Trans" to "Knoxville Area Transit (KAT)" in 1995. From the 90s onward, the KAT system continued to upgrade, with a focus on environmental responsibility, beginning its Clean Fuels Program with the introduction of propane-powered vehicles in 2003. The next year, the KAT system was named North American Transit System of the Year by the American Public Transportation Association. In 2010, the transit system again changed facilities, moving its center of operations to the John J. Duncan, Jr. Knoxville Station. In 2014, KAT introduced three hybrid vehicles into its regular fleet. [3]


Regular Knoxville area routes[edit]

  • 10 Sequoyah Hills
  • 11 Kingston Pike*
  • 12 Western Avenue*
  • 13 Beaumont
  • 16 Cedar Bluff Connector
  • 17 Sutherland/Bearden
  • 19 Lakeshore/Lonas Connector
  • 20 Central Avenue/Clinton Hwy*
  • 21 Lincoln Park
  • 22 Broadway*
  • 23 Millertown Pike*
  • 24 Inskip/Breda Road
  • 30 Parkridge
  • 31 Magnolia Avenue*
  • 32 Dandridge Avenue
  • 33 MLK Jr Avenue*
  • 34 Burlington*
  • 40 South Knoxville
  • 41 Chapman Highway*
  • 42 UT/Fort Sanders Hospitals
  • 44 University Park Apartments
  • 45 Vestal
  • 51 Football Game Express
  • 90 Crosstown Connector
  • -these routes operate 7 days.

Knoxville Trolley Lines[edit]

Orange Line Trolley Blue Line Trolley Green Line Trolley

The LIFT[edit]

KAT offers Paratransit LIFT service for those persons who are unable to use regular fixed-route buses. The LIFT is by reservation only, and you must be certified by KAT to use the service.


  • 31-40 Gillig Trolley
  • 1501-1509 Ford E350 ( Used to be 2002-2010 but are now LIFT vehicles)
  • 2001 Ford E350
  • 712-720 Optima 30-Foot (currently being retired)
  • 931-937 Optima 35-Foot
  • 3001-3006 Ford E450
  • 3007-3012 Ford LF transport
  • 4001-4026 Gillig LF 35 Foot
  • 4027-4033 Gillig LF 35 Foot Hybrid Electric
  • 5001-5008 Gillig LF 40 Foot
  • 5009-5011 Gillig LF 40 Foot Hybrid Electric

Future bus numbers:.

Gillig LF 35 Foot Hybrid Electric: 4034-4038.


KAT buses operate normally 6 days a week from about 5:30 a.m. till 9:15 p.m. with some routes ending at 11:15 p.m. KAT does not operate on the following holidays: New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Saturday Schedule is in effect on Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Day before Christmas and Day after Thanksgiving.

As of August 21,2017, the following routes offer 7-day service: 11,12,20,22,23,31,33,34,41.