LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - TARC buses now arrive every 15 minutes on weekdays at stops on two major routes covering Dixie and Preston highways and Broadway and Bardstown roads.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker celebrated the new frequent bus arrivals at a news conference today at TARC headquarters at Union Station Tuesday.
"This is an exciting improvement in our public transportation system which is so important for connecting people to jobs and educational opportunities," the mayor said.
"With buses arriving frequently, TARC is a more convenient, reliable option and more people will take TARC. We can build on this success for better public transportation service in the future."
Barker said the 15-minute service – on Route #18 on Dixie and Preston highways and Route #23 on Broadway and Bardstown Road - will allow TARC to attract new riders and address overcrowding on the two routes, which combined carry 20 percent of TARC's ridership.
"TARC intends to demonstrate the popularity of public transportation with this frequent service," Barker said.
The additional service, which began yesterday, is funded with a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. TARC is adding a total of eight buses to the routes to achieve the 15-minute arrival times.
The service operates from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday on major sections of the two routes, covering more than 35 miles. Weekend service is also improved, with buses arriving at stops every 30 minutes from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
TARC is reaching out to passengers and communities about the changes. Among the efforts are bus shelter advertisements and notices on bus stop signs along the routes.
Other TARC improvements taking effect this week include new routing linking South Louisville, downtown, the University of Louisville Belknap campus and the Louisville Medical Center.
Route #4-Fourth Street - which travels from Iroquois Park in South Louisville, along U of L's Belknap campus, to downtown - will begin making a loop east around the Louisville Medical Center. In addition to improved bus arrival times, Route #18 will be rerouted to travel along the east side of U of L's Belknap campus. About a mile of Preston Highway no longer served on this route will be covered by a change on Route #2-Second Street.
In the Portland area, two routes - #27-Hill Street and #43-Portland-Poplar Level - will be rerouted to serve a Kroger on 35th Street near Bank Street.
"These changes are designed to get more people where they need to go more efficiently," Barker said. "They will make our existing public transportation network a more convenient option."
A detailed list of changes, maps and schedules are available at http://www.ridetarc.org. TARC authorized the changes in November after a public comment period on proposals and four public meetings.