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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has selected First Transit to operate the campus transit system. First Transit operates more than twenty campus transit systems and has more than fifty years of private transit experience.

UT will make the transition from the current vendor, Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), to First Transit on June 1, 2013, to serve the campus and nearby Fort Sanders.

The new provider will serve the campus with a fleet of twenty new buses bearing the university’s logo and school colors. The firm also will offer smartphone-equipped riders with real-time tracking information on the location of campus buses and improved route signage at bus stops.

The $18 million, five-year contract was awarded following a competitive-bid process designed to provide maximum competition from various types of transit organizations. The final round of bidding involved KAT and First Transit.

UT’s Parking and Transit Services conducted a transit study that included a survey of “T” shuttle riders. Faculty, staff, and students identified the need for live online location tracking as a method of delivering improved service.

“Our campus transportation is a key service to our students and the larger campus community,” said Chris Cimino, vice chancellor for finance and administration. “It’s vital that we ensure the best service that can be delivered, and First Transit has a well-established record in meeting the needs of campus riders all across the nation.”

TransLoc, First Transit’s transit technology subcontractor, already provides transit service with real-time online location tracking at thirty-five college and university campuses, including Auburn University, University of Florida, Emory University, and the University of Kentucky.

A committee of faculty, staff, and students evaluated the transit bids and noted the new vendor’s speed and flexibility in adding and adjusting routes as needed to better serve the campus. The committee also noted the new vendor’s ability to provide all-new buses with consistent branding of the university’s logo and school colors.

“We thank KAT for its service to the campus community,” Cimino said.

For more information on First Transit, visit www.firsttransit.com.

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm (865-974-5180, primmc@utk.edu)