published Monday, January 28th, 2013

CARTA celebrating 40 years today

Passengers board a CARTA bus in this file photo.
Passengers board a CARTA bus in this file photo.
Photo by Allison Carter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority is celebrating its 40th anniversary today. All passengers will receive discounted fares on bus and Care-A-Van trips all day.

"It's going to be from the beginning to the end of the schedule," said Veronica Peebles, CARTA's manager of communications.

Some routes are as early as 4:45 a.m. Some are as late as 12:45 a.m., she said.

The bus company carries more than 3.2 million riders a year, said Tom Dugan, CARTA's executive director.

"There is a need and there will always be a significant portion of the population that chooses or depends on public transportation for their daily lives," said Dugan.

Ridership peaked in Chattanooga in the 1980s with about 4 million riders, he said.

It declined after funding cuts and hit it lowest point around 1995 with about 2.8 million riders. However, for the past eight years ridership has been increasing, said Dugan, who soon plans to retire after more than 30 years with CARTA.

about Yolanda Putman...

Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...

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