10 Reasons Our New Buses are Awesome

Been on campus lately? You may have noticed the spiffy new buses hauling students to and fro. But for those Vols who no longer reside in Big Orange Country, here are ten reasons the new buses are so awesome.

10. These buses play “Rocky Top.”

That’s right. At a moment’s notice the driver can press a button and “Rocky Top” will come pouring out of the speakers. Lest you forget you’re at UT.

9. It’s still called “the T.”

We’re all about tradition. Students were consulted about renaming the transit system, but decided to stick with “the T.”

8. These drivers know where to go.

A third of the T drivers drove for the previous transit system—one driver has been driving buses on campus for more than twenty years.

7. Fancy bike racks.

UT loves alternative transportation and is committed to sustainability, so our new buses were each built to hold three bicycles on their front.

6. Responsive data collection.

As the new buses are running their routes, each vehicle collects data—such as how many riders are coming and going—that allows adjustments to routes and services as needed to better serve the campus community.

5. USB charging stations.

In the age of the electronic tether, finding juice for your phone or tablet is a must. The back of each bus is equipped with four USB charging stations.

4. Fully accessible.

With a hydraulic wheelchair ramp and an auditory stop notation system for the visually impaired, these buses meet full compliance for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3. Environmentally sound.

These vehicles actually release emissions that are cleaner than the intake air. They run on B20, a biodiesel fuel that releases 20 percent less hydrocarbons than conventional bus fuel.

2. There’s an app for it.

Riders will never have to wonder if they just missed the bus, thanks to a tracking system built into the UT mobile app. GPS locators show real-time vehicle location, calculate the expected time of arrival, and notify users of updated route or scheduling changes.

1. They are all Vol.

Orange—check; checkerboard—check; Smokey hanging out of the side window—yes, indeed. There’s no doubt you’re in Big Orange Country when you ride the T.

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John Oglesby June 13, 2013 - 3:19 pm

Would iit be possible to have the buses run on Saturdays at least until 12:00 p.m. especially on football game days?

Cassandra Sproles June 13, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Hi John! Thanks for your question. Our director of Parking and Transit Services says that, unfortunately, running the T buses on football game days is not a viable option due to the significant changes to traffic patterns.

Cassandra Sproles
Executive Editor

Polly Root Campbell June 13, 2013 - 3:31 pm

I think the buses are great. when I graduated in 1951 there were no campus buses. We had a pass to ride the city bus from The Hill out to The Farm (Morgan Hall).

Anne Dowis June 14, 2013 - 2:12 pm

So cool. I rode the buses every where when I was a student from 1967-71 and later in 1975. They were great then. They are awesome now!

Bill Dockery June 14, 2013 - 3:05 pm

I applaud you for making the new buses ADA-compliant (what would it say about UT if you hadn’t?).

But for two decades or more, the word “handicap” has been an insult to the broad community of people with disabilities. “Accessible” is a good word for facilities and services that accommodate people with disabilities. “Handicap” is NOT.

How much longer is it going to take our would-be Top 25 university to get the lingo right?

Cassandra Sproles June 17, 2013 - 12:43 pm

Thanks for pointing this out. We have corrected the wording in the article.

Fadi July 16, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Now that’s listening to feedback.

Libby June 15, 2013 - 3:25 am

I have looked around on the UT Mobile app for the bus tracking system discussed here, but to no avail! I can’t seem to find what you are referring to. Any tips?

Cassandra Sproles June 17, 2013 - 12:56 pm

Hi Libby,
The bus tracking system is available in the latest update of the UT app for iPhone and will be available for Android users very soon. In the meantime, you can also track the bus at http://utk.transloc.com.

rahsaan July 17, 2013 - 6:19 pm

WOW…. i love the new changes. I graduated in 2010 and campus is already so different. The age of technology and mobile communication I see is really shaping campus life. I can’t wait to visit this fall for football season.


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