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Mass Transit Critical to Chattanooga's Turnaround


  Mass Transit Critical to Chattanooga's Turnaround

C hattanooga has undergone a renaissance, from being a city with severe environmental and economic problems to one with a revitalized economy and award-winning improvements to the living environment," according to Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater.

Slater, speaking at the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority's (CARTA) Electric Bus Facility, said that "the city's mass transit has played a large role in this turnaround. Chattanooga's innovations in streamlining the connections between automobiles and transit, and introducing electric buses and other alternative-fueled vehicles to its transit system, has played a major role in reducing traffic congestion, protecting the environment, enhancing mobility and revitalizing communities."

Chattanooga has undergone a renaissance.

CARTA operates an innovative shuttle system based on electric buses that has significantly and positively altered the transportation patterns of the community. It currently operates 17 electric buses in a free downtown shuttle service. The free downtown shuttle has been in operation since 1992, and it ties together the Chattanooga Choo Choo attraction at the south end and the Tennessee Aquarium on the north end of a 3.5 mile route. Parking structures were built at both ends of the routes to intercept automobile traffic before reaching the downtown core area. The parking revenues generated from these intercept parking facilities are used to help fund the operation of the electric bus shuttle and demonstrate CARTA's use of innovative financing in revitalizing the city of Chattanooga.

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