CARTA Ridership Down Over 100,000 For The Fiscal Year

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CARTA is down over 100,000 riders for the fiscal year (July to March), board members were told on Thursday. The decline is from 2,282,686 to 2,182,170 counting transit, the free electric shuttle, Care-a-Van and the Incline Railway.

Transit ridership has dropped from 1,331,435 to 1,228,397.

Shuttle ridership is down from 599,261 to 582,049.

The Incline and Care-a-Van are up for the fiscal year.

Lisa Maragnano said there is a nationwide trend showing a drop in public transit use, but the decline is sharper here. She said nationally the drop is 3-4 percent, but it is 7-8 percent here.

One factor is the change at CARTA's most popular #4 route when Eastgate Center officials would no longer allow buses on the property. The stop is now at the Loop Road.

Ms. Maragnano said that route, which also goes to Hamilton Place Mall, is down by 42,000 riders.

Patricia McKoy, a new board member, said, "That's a lot of people - 42,000. What can we do to get them back?"

she said she was not being critical of Ms. Maragnano.

Steve Jett, longtime CARTA board chairman, said, "This lady has a hard job." He said the community wants bus service, but would rather not have bus stops near them. 

Ms. Maragnano said CARTA is in continual talks with Eastgate officials, who maintain that the buses were damaging their property.

She said it is not that far a walk to the center from the Loop Road, but bus riders had been accustomed to much-closer service.

It was also speculated that some have stopped riding the bus because their economic situations are now better and they are able to afford cars.

Ms. Maragnano said CARTA and other transit agencies are going to have to try new strategies, including "Flex" routes that are fixed but allow for some deviation when customers call.

Some routes are doing better, including Cromwell, North Chattanooga and Enterprise South.

CARTA continues to do well in the parking arena. Revenues for March were $234,792 and expenses $137,848.

Enforcement brought in over $90,000.

Ms. Maragnano said CARTA is pulling its transit buses off the Market Street Bridge and using the Olgiati Bridge instead.

She said a service change taking effect on May 7 will be for the #6 East Brainerd bus. It will start an hour earlier and run an hour later - mainly to accommodate employees at Erlanger East.

CARTA has been chosen to receive a Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Award and will be honored at an event in Nashville. The award is for the solar-assisted electric vehicle charging and car share.

CARTA is getting three new all-electric buses that will be the first for the transit system, but they will not be ready this month as planned. CARTA also has funding for an additional three of the new electric buses with batteries that go up to 160 miles on a charge.

The delay involves a better design for cooling the batteries.

Officials said there is a lot of interest in East Ridge rejoining CARTA. Some 40 people showed up for a recent hearing, including several city officials. CARTA is getting date together on how the renewed service would work and what the cost would be so East Ridge can make a decision.

 

 

 

 



Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For April 13-19

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for April 13-19: 04-12-18 Kenneth Tony Hamill, 31, of 7 Chickamauga Street, Fort Oglethorpe arrested on charges of failure to report accident resulting in damage, no proof of insurance, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, reckless driving and violation of Georgia’s controlled substance act. Andrew Jason Morgan, ... (click for more)

Fire Personnel Respond To Howard For Garbage Can Fire

There was a small garbage can fire at The Howard School on Thursday.  There was no damage other than just a little smoke in the building, officials said.  The school was evacuated as a precaution, and the ninth-grade academy students needed to be relocated for a short period for the smoke to fully clear in that section of the building.   No students were ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Teacher's Pay Cut

The Hamilton County School Board will hold a “working session” Thursday afternoon as steps continue to formulate the FY2019 budget and it is a frightening process in a badly-broken system. Everybody knows it is equally embarrassing and after watching teachers who “have had enough” go on strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky this spring, I guarantee you that Tennessee is ... (click for more)

Fulmer Gets 4-Year Contract As Vols Athletic Director

University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced Thursday that Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer has signed a four-year contract. Fulmer took over as UT's Director of Athletics on Dec. 1, 2017.   "Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the work he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Davenport ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights To Field Boys' Soccer Team In 2018-19

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy has announced the addition of men’s soccer to its athletic program in the 2018-2019 academic year. “We are excited to add this global sport to our athletic program. With the national success of our women and men’s basketball programs, we feel the addition of soccer is a natural fit for the mission of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy,” said ... (click for more)