CARTA celebrating 40 years today

CARTA celebrating 40 years today

January 28th, 2013 by Yolanda Putman in Local Regional News

Passengers board a CARTA bus in this file photo.

Photo by Allison Carter/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.