Sunday, June 11, 2017 12:47 AM


Gallery: Downtown Shuttle hits 25Free rides, electric vehicles to stay; expansion studied +5 more photos Thirty years ago, Chattanooga was inching toward a renaissance with its downtown aquarium under development as part of a riverfront revival. With a world-class aquarium slated to help draw upwards of 1 million people a year to the waterfront, it made sense to find a way to move them around Chattanooga's long, narrow downtown, said Rick Hitchcock, a former CARTA board chairman. The solution, he said, was a fleet of downtown shuttle buses to transport visitors and locals. Over the past 25 years, CARTA's shuttle has carried an estimated 15 million passengers. "People take it for granted," said Hitchcock. "Every city doesn't have this. Dang, nearly no other city has this." On Thursday, CARTA will mark the startup of the shuttle two-and-a-half decades ago. Veronica Peebles, CARTA's communications manager, said plans are to keep two longtime mainstays of the shuttle system - no rider fares and its battery-powered buses. "It has been free since its existence," she said. "That's one of the reasons that makes it so unique, in addition to the all-electric fleet." CARTA in 2014 bought six new electric buses that were included ...

News source: Times Free Press

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