Engagement: What we heard
To show how the network could be designed, the study team developed two contrasting transit concepts. – one that focused frequent service on a few high-ridership corridors (the Ridership concept) or one that distributed service more thinly throughout the service area (the Coverage Concept). We asked respondents which of the two concepts they preferred. You can view more information about the transit concepts here.
The project team then asked several questions regarding their transit values and which concept they prefer. There was a total of 725 responses. Surveys were provided in both Spanish and English. This page summarized what we heard.
The summary below shows an overview of what we heard, a full report is here.
Walking vs Waiting
Most respondents preferred to minimize wait times.
Transit services can be spread out on more streets, which means shorter walks to buses that come less often. Conversely, transit services could be more concentrated on a few streets, which means longer walks to buses that come more often.
We asked respondents how they felt about this trade off in general. Of all who provided a response, 53% preferred or strongly preferred to shorter waits, while 46% preferred shorter walks.
Ridership vs Coverage Concepts
Next, we asked respondents which of the two network abstract transit concepts they preferred. Of all who provided a response, 57% preferred the high-ridership scenario, while 43% preferred the high-coverage scenario.
Between the two scenarios, most respondents tended to express more of a slight preference than a strong preference. Only 23% strongly preferred the Ridership Concept and only 19% strongly preferred the Coverage Concept. The breakdown between “preferred” and “definitely preferred” is presented in the chart below.
You can review the Ridership and Coverage Concepts here.
Priorities for Improving Transit Service
We asked respondents on what KAT should prioritize if they had additional funding for transit service. As an overall group, respondents said that the region should prioritize higher-frequency service, with providing service to areas not currently served as the second highest priority.
Note that on the survey, respondents were asked to rank the six priorities from 1 to 6, with 1 being the highest priority and 6 being the lowest priority. However, for the purposes of analysis, this order was swapped so higher numbers indicate highest priority.
Here's how KAT is responding
Based on this input, the Knoxville Transportation Authority Board (KTA) decided to set a policy to guide the next phase of work on KAT Reimagined.
On May 26, 2022 the Knoxville Transportation Authority Board (KTA) voted on a resolution to assign 70% of the transit operating budget to maximize ridership and 30% of the transit operating budget to maximize geographic coverage.
You can read the minutes from the May 26, 2022 KTA Board Meeting here.
This is a change that would mean shifting the budget from coverage to ridership.
During the next phase of the project, we will be designing a
draft plan based on this policy from the KTA Board.