CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: With thousands of people working for 14 different companies in Enterprise South, you can imagine getting to and from work can be a hassle.
The City of Chattanooga and CARTA are one step away from making that commute easier.
CARTA Executive Director Lisa Maragnano says they’ve been considering different avenues.
“We’re hoping we can find some level of service to alleviate some of the traffic congestion and remote parking. Some folks have a long walk from their parking spot into their building,” Maragnano said.
CARTA has looked at where workers live throughout Chattanooga city limits to see where the highest demand would be if they were to add direct routes into Enterprise South.
“We’ve looked at where a lot of the employees are living and where the centers are and we’ll design different routes. It won’t just be one route, it could be three, it could be four. It depends on where the demand is,” Maragnano added.
Funding for the new line is still up in the air. CARTA has its eye set on a $1.5 million state grant to add the route. The city has pledged $300,000 in the 2015 fiscal budget for the project.
District 9 Councilman Yusuf Hakeem supports the new line, saying it would also benefit people who don’t work in Enterprise South.
“Not only would it help people as far as transportation, but also economically within these neighborhoods, so it does make a difference,” Hakeem added.
But the proposed solution has come with backlash from taxpayers who want companies in Enterprise South to help foot the bill. CARTA says they will look at more partners in the future.
“The grant is a three year grant and they make those three years so you have time to look at things, plan, make adjustments and change the service to what you need it to be,” Maragnano said.
If CARTA doesn’t get the grant, they already have a ‘Plan B.’ They want to use the money from the city to develop a park and ride type of program that will help with some of the issues employees in Enterprise South are dealing with. __________________________________________________
Public transportation in Chattanooga is one step away from a major upgrade. With the help of a state grant, Carta is planning to provide bus service to the very busy, Enterprise South. The service would drop employees off at one of the eleven businesses there. The city of Chattanooga has already agreed to pay 300-thousand dollars to develop the route. Now, Carta needs an additional grant of 1-point-five million dollars to begin the project.