CARTA To Discontinue Service From East Ridge, Northgate To Enterprise South After Grant Not Renewed

Thursday, July 19, 2018

CARTA will discontinue bus service to the Enterprise South Industrial Park from East Ridge and Northgate after a grant was not renewed.

CARTA had been operating the service off a three-year grant that expires at the end of the month.

It also funded service from downtown Chattanooga to Enterprise South, where thousands are employed at Volkswagen, Amazon and other facilities.

Phil Pugliese said that service will be continued since the city agreed to provide $300,000.

CARTA applied for the grant to be renewed, but was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, CARTA is installing a new fence at its headquarters at Wilcox Boulevard and Holtzclaw after an employee was attacked last September. Liquid was thrown in the face of a female employee. An arrest has not been made in the case.

Brent Matthews said the fence should be complete in about six weeks.

All three all-electric transit buses ordered by CARTA have now arrived.

The buses will be given trial runs after they are outfitted with fare boxes and radios and a few other items are taken care of, including insuring them.

The buses will be plugged in each night at the CARTA garage.

They will also be given mid-day boosts using an inductive charging system at Shuttle Park South. The buses will be driven over the charger until the brief process is completed.

Officials said the night-time charging is designed so the charger will shut off when the batteries are fully charged. There can be harm from overcharging, it was stated.

CARTA's budget is going up one half of a percent. The new figure is $22.5 million.

The county's funding remains at $105,200, while the city provided a nine percent increase, including the amount for the downtown runs to Enterprise South.

Officials said both federal and state funding are down, and there is some decline in advertising revenue. However, there is an increase from parking revenues at garages and on the streets.

CARTA transit ridership for June was 117,393 - down from 123,539 the previous June.

Transit ridership is down from 1,542,651 for the year to date compared to the previous 1,597,871. 

Shuttle ridership is down from 786,314 to 701,187 for the year to date. Incline ridership climbed from 481,791 to this year's 489,548.

Overall ridership is at 2,784,649 compared to the previous 2,915,510. 

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