I’m always excited to see small-city bus services expanding, especially in the South. Based on empirical evidence (i.e. my own observations), a vast majority of those who use the bus in Knoxville are not of the 9-to-5 set. There are cultural elements behind this, too, but that doesn’t change the necessity for better public transit for those in the service, retail, and medical industries. Restaurants, department stores, and hospitals don’t adhere so strictly to the increasingly archaic 9-to-5 business schedule, and neither should public transit, especially when relatively few 9-to-5ers use it (compared to bigger cities). I would include University students in that conversation around Knoxville, considering how much they have contributed to the city’s regrowth, along with their ORNL, young-professional counterparts (who we can say for a fact don’t/can’t use the bus too often).
The Knoxville Area Transit is improving service on thirteen bus routes next week.