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A More Sustainable New Year: Creative Commute

All month long we will be giving out New Year’s Resolutions about how to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly. Not only will that benefit the world around you, but generally help you live a healthier lifestyle as well. Each week we will have a different theme, and we are starting out this first week with having a Creative Commute; and this does not mean riding a unicycle to work!

There are plenty of practical ways to get creative with your commute, and while these are tailored to the Knoxville area, many of these ideas can be implemented anywhere. Public transportation is a great alternative to driving to work, and has numerous benefits, listed below:

  • It prevents wear and tear on your car
  • Save you money on gas
  • Allows you to catch up on reading or another hobby such as knitting while commuting to work
  • Numerous environmental benefits

While public transportation in Knoxville could be improved, there are still many great options for getting around town. Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) offers 23 bus routes with over 1,500 stops which reaches 80% of Knoxville residents within half a mile. Another great thing about KAT, is that if you are a UT employee you can receive a discount on bus tickets. Additionally, while we are still in the planning stages, our office is looking at new ways to encourage more UT staff and students to take advantage of the KAT buses.

Once you arrive on campus, there are two great options for getting around:

The T

  • Free shuttle for all facility, staff and students to get around campus
  • There is a live feed of where each bus is online, so you can make sure you don’t miss it
  • More information on that can be found here:

The Trolley

  • Runs between campus and downtown, and is also free
  • Helps avoid paying for parking, as well as the hassle of going through 6 floors of a parking garage looking for a spot
  • More information on the trolley can be found here:


Public transportation not your thing? No worries, there are other ways to make your commute more sustainable:


  • Did you know that 92% of people in our region drive alone to work? Talk with your coworkers or classmates and see if anyone lives near you that you can carpool with
  • It will help you save gas money, and help you stay on time in the morning knowing you are depending on someone

Biking or walking

  • This is great exercise
  • If you are a student there are several bike repair shops on campus, so a broken bike can’t slow you down!
  • There are many bike lanes all throughout Knoxville and campus that make it easier and safer to bike on the roads

Smart Trips              

  • A free commuter rewards program that promotes alternatives to driving alone
  • Participants can win prizes of up to $100 in value each quarter
  • Find out more information here:


Still not convinced to change up your commute this New Year’s? Check out some of these facts:

  • The percentage of single-occupancy vehicles in our region is 16% higher than the national average
  • In part to our high driving rate, our region’s air quality is ranked 7th worse in the nation
  • Only 10% of students and 2% of faculty currently take a campus shuttle or public transportation as their primary method of transportation
  • If 1 in 10 Americans took public transportation to work, there would be a 40% reduction in US reliance on foreign oil
  • Public transportation use in the US saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually


Let us know how you are getting creative with your commute! For more information contact us at