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Yes, Oak Ridge still has public transportation

citysealOne action at Monday night’s City Council meeting was approval of a new contract with the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency (ETHRA) to operate the city’s demand-responsive van transit system. The one-way fare will rise to $2, but otherwise the service is what I described here back in March. During the meeting, when several Council members asked staff how the public can find out about the Oak Ridge Transit service, I didn’t remember that I had blogged about this problem. (I did remember that I had talked with city staff about the need to make the information more available, but apparently my comments weren’t heeded.)

Just as I discovered back in March, discussion at the Council meeting confirmed that it’s not easy to find out about this service. Oak Ridge Transit can’t be found on the web. The local phone number to call for service rings to ETHRA — that could be confusing because ETHRA also runs a separate 16-county rural paratransit service that has different policies and higher prices. At Monday night’s meeting, city and ETHRA staff said they would do something to make information more accessible. I hope they follow through on that promise, because I know that some people who need this service aren’t finding out about it.



  1. Could not find the like button, but thank you for posting!
    Through Elder Watch of Anderson County I regularly hear about ETHRA but I think it is the 16 county part.
    Isn’t there some discounted taxi coupons at the senior center office?

  2. kit says:

    Do they take people to the airport? Do you know?

  3. Ellen Smith says:

    Dave: I described the taxi coupon program on my earlier blog post at http://ellensmith.org/blog/2013/03/31/yes-oak-ridge-does-have-public-transportation/

    Kit: Oak Ridge Transit is an in-town transit service. It doesn’t take people to the airport. The yellow cabs in Oak Ridge (Morgan Cab Company) provide airport service or you can call one of the McGhee Tyson Airport’s taxi services to arrange rides between Oak Ridge and the airport.

  4. Robert says:

    So is there a public transportation system that services the Oak Ridge area. If so is there a number or web url for more information?

    thanks in advance,

  5. Ellen Smith says:

    Yes, but it’s not full-service transit. We have a paratransit service called Oak Ridge Public Transit, operated for Oak Ridge by ETHRA. Rides are by reservation, 24 hours in advance. Cost is $2 per ride. Anyone can ride. See http://www.ethrapublictransit.org/oakridgetransit for details.

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