During the COVID-19 pandemic, KAT’s Customer Service Team at Knoxville Station Transit Center is expanding services to the public to include information about upcoming elections as well as Census 2020 information. And, they also hand out free masks.

“With KAT currently operating fare-free, the Customer Service staff are not selling passes,” says Melissa Robertson, Interim Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “However, the Customer Service counter is still open to answer questions and help direct passengers. Now, they will also be able to answer any neutral questions regarding the upcoming elections for 2020, and also help remind people of the importance of filling out Census forms.”

For several years now, KAT has provided voter registration forms to customers who request one, in addition to helping passengers reach early voting and election day locations via transit. KAT has operated fare-free on election days over the past several years, and plans to continue that with the two upcoming elections in 2020, thanks to the support of Mayor Kincannon. KAT is currently operating fare-free due to the pandemic.

Information provided by KAT Customer Service regarding voting and election schedules will be taken straights from the Knox County Election Commission’s website, and no specific information on candidates or their platform will be provided beyond the candidate listing information available on the Commission’s website. 

In addition to voting and election information, KAT Customer Service will also be assisting in Census 2020 information, asking customers if they have filled out their census forms and reminding customers of the importance of that information, even assisting customers in filling out Census forms online. KAT is working closely with the countrywide Census coordination team to ensure the assistance is accurate and effective.

“The response numbers for the Census in the City are below the levels we would like to see,” says rick Emmett, Coordinator for the Census 2020 project for The City of Knoxville. “We appreciate KAT’s Customer Service team reminding customers about the Census, and providing answers to any questions they may have.”

“The pandemic has made life much more challenging for everyone,” says Robertson. “We hope that we can assist the public in these two very important civic duties, making it easier to do both.”

For additional information visit katbus.com. The Knox County Election Commission can be reached at 215-2480 or www.knoxcounty.org/election. Census information can be found at www.CountMeInKnox.com.

For more information on this news release, contact Belinda Woodiel-Brill at 865-215-7828.