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Commuter and Sustainable Solutions

The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) Parking and Transportation Department encourages faculty, staff, and students to utilize commuting solutions and alternative transportation options to reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel, save money, and reduce greenhouse gases.

We partner with Knoxville Area Transit and the Smart Trips Program of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). Rather than creating duplicate programs, we partner for more efficient commute options.

Links about specific solutions can be found in these sections:

  • University of Tennessee – T Bus Transit System, Bicycling, Micro-Mobility, Bus to West TN, and Electric Vehicle Charging
  • Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) – Mobile App & Ticketing, Orange Line Trolley, KAT regular routes, paratransit, and Discounted Semester Bus Pass
  • Smart Trips – Carpool, carshare, vanpool, and Emergency Ride Home

Current UT solutions offered include:

  • T Bus Transit System – The Campus Shuttle provides coverage connecting across the campus and into neighborhoods to reduce the need to drive to campus. No schedules to memorize as buses run continuously from 8-20 minutes depending on the time of day.
  • Bicycling – Hundreds of bike parking spaces; both indoor and outside, designated bike lane, shared road markings, Bike Shop at UTOP, and related training and exhibiting to encourage biking on campus.
  • Micro mobility – Electric scooters and bikes are available for rental in partnership with the City of Knoxville master agreement. Click here for eScooter and eBike FAQs and Electric Scooter Do’s and Don’ts
  • Bus to West TN – Shuttle provides holiday and break bus service at a nominal cost for students to travel to middle and west TN and is coordinated by the Dean of Students.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging – UT supports advanced transportation technologies by offering 27 EV Charging Stations! 22 EV stations are available for students, faculty, and staff, plus 1 NEW “Smart” Charger (fees apply at this one) available for campus and the general public.
    • Currently, UT has one Smart Charger with dual ports and as electric charging demands increase, we will replace existing chargers with Smart Chargers. The benefits of Smart Chargers are:
      • Notification when your vehicle is done charging
      • Charging and payment with your phone
      • Easily find other EV charging stations

While these programs do not generate revenue, they help reduce the demand for parking and associated parking costs.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) has been recognized as a Bronze Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists.

UTK has also been certified a Great Place to Work designation by the Great Places to Work organization.

Looking for additional resources? See the “Your Driving Costs” report from AAA for cost calculations on annual driving costs.

You can now PLAN your trip, PAY your fare, and SCAN your ticket, all in our official app, Transit!  Download it for free today!

Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) – local transit agency with stops next to campus. In addition, three programs specifically benefit the UTK campus:

Smart Trips promotes alternatives to driving alone—easing traffic congestion improves our region’s air quality and quality of life. When you participate in Smart Trips, you can improve your health, save money, save the environment, and earn rewards!

Rather than creating a separate carpool, carshare, or vanpool program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, we partner with Smart Trips on their options to reduce single-vehicle occupancy. A benefit of a regional transportation planning organization (TPO) is the ability to leverage more people commuting to the same area.

Benefits include:

  • Split costs by traveling with multiple people
  • Save the wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Reduce emissions by using fewer vehicles
  • Track your trips and earn rewards
  • The TPO subsidizes an Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program, if you need to leave work early or stay late and miss your normal commute

How it works:

  1. Sign up for Smart Trips
  2. Determine how many people you will be commuting with you
    • Smart Trips does assist with ride-matching if you are looking for someone else traveling from your area to UT Knoxville or downtown
  3. Determine what commute option would work for you
    • Carpool – Have some friends to drive with? We administer a carpool program for faculty and staff. Benefits are available for small and large groups. Connect to the WAZE App to assist in your travel planning.
    • Carshare – The Turo App allows rentals of vehicles from individual owners to get you to your destination. Get the benefits of affordable and available transportation and avoid the costs of ownership.
    • Vanpool – Large groups (4-15 people) can rideshare in a Commute With Enterprise passenger van, sharing costs.

Special Note: If you are enrolled in Smart Trips and use alternative transportation (one of the options above) you can request an Emergency Ride Home

  • Emergency Ride HomeThe Smart Trips Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program provides a free ride home from work for part-time and full-time employees who have an emergency on a day that they use alternative transportation. If you require an ERH, book your ride home in whatever form you wish (Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc.) and save your receipt. Redeem this reward and a reimbursement claim form will be emailed to you.