Ride Guide

How to Ride KATS

1. Review the System Map below to learn where the routes go or visit our Routes Page to learn the route to best fit your transit needs.

2. Determine the routes that run closest to where you are coming from, and where you are going (your origination and destination points).

3. Identify and review the route closest to your destination.

4. Locate the time on that route closest to the time you need to be at your destination. Many additional stops are located on the routes, so be sure to allow enough time for your correct stop; check the timed points in the timetable for the stops just before and after your desired stop.

5. “Backtrack” your planning to allow time for possible transfer.

6. Be at the designated bus stop on time. KATS buses do not stop to pick up riders unless they are at a designated bus stops. Look for KATS signs, benches and shelters to identify a designated KATS bus stop. Riders can disembark from the bus anywhere safe along the route.

7. Need a transfer? Transfers are free on a one-way trip. Simply request a transfer from the driver when deboarding the bus. When you board the second bus, hand the driver your transfer ticket. Transfer points are identified on the System Map.

Simple Route Map

Important Points to Remember

* KATS buses run Monday through Friday, five days a week, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

* All routes originate and transfer at the KATS Transit Center at 109 Clay Street in downtown Kingsport.

* KATS offers six routes in the City of Kingsport (see map for route details).

* KATS bus drivers try very hard to stay on schedule, so get to your stop a few minutes early to make sure you don’t miss the bus.

* Check to be sure you are getting on the right bus before you board. Each bus shows its destination and route number above the front windshield.

* Every KATS bus is wheelchair-accessible.

* Wait for buses at designated bus stops.

* Front seats are reserved for persons with disabilities

* Violence, threats, or inappropriate behavior is not permitted

* No weapons of any kind allowed on the bus or on transit facilities/properties.

* Profane language, racial slurs, and inappropriate comments are not permitted.

* No tobacco products are permitted. NO smoking or use of any device that emits a vapor in the air while on the bus.

* Excessively loud noise is not permitted.

* Drivers are not responsible for items left on the bus.

* When using a cell phone, be courteous to others and speak softly.

Cycle? Take Your Bike on a Bus!

KATS provides bike racks for your convenience on the front of the buses. It’s FREE to bring your bike with you. Space is provided for two bikes per bus and available on a first-come basis. Unfortunately, bikes are not allowed inside the bus, so if the rack is full you may have to wait for the next bus. Only conventional, single seat, standard size, non-motorized, normal tires, two wheeled bicycles are allowed on the bike racks.

Bring your bicycle along with KATS

How to Load and Unload Your Bike:
You are responsible for loading, securing, and removing your bicycle from the bike rack.
Follow the steps illustrated: 

Bike Rack Instructions

TTY Telephone Information for persons who are hearing impaired

If you have a hearing or speech disability or use a TTY, please use the FCC 711 dialing code to access a Telecommunications Relay Service that can forward your comment.

Policies for Passengers

The following is a list of KATS policies and important points to remember about riding KATS. Please review. Thank you

• Have the correct fare, ticket, pass and/or photo ID ready as you board the bus.

• Remember, drivers cannot make change for fare.

• Please be seated as soon as possible after boarding the bus.

• Do not eat, drink, or use alcohol or tobacco products while on the bus.

• Do not cross in front of the bus after exiting.

• Shirt and shoes are required to ride the bus service.

• No flammables or hazardous materials of any kind.

• Must show proper ID to driver at boarding to receive reduced or free fares.

• Bus drivers cannot accept expired tickets or transfers.

• Passengers are limited to carry on a “two bag limit”. If you shop and have more than two bags, please combine bags or make other arrangements for a way home.

• Transfers are only one way and can be used at designated KATS transfer points.

• Passengers will only be picked up at KATS designated Stops.

• Remember, Service animals are welcome; however, no pets of any kind allowed.

• Do not use profane language or make excessive noise on the bus.

• Pull the stop request cord or push button at least one block before you need to disembark from the bus before the next stop, please wait until bus has come to a complete stop before disembarking.

• Please do not talk to the driver while the bus is in motion.

• Keep cell phone usage to a minimum.

• All carry-on items should be self contained by passengers.

• Front seats are reserved for persons with disabilities

• Violence, threats, or inappropriate behavior is not permitted

• No weapons of any kind allowed on the bus or on transit facilities/properties.

• Profane language, racial slurs, and inappropriate comments are not permitted.

• No tobacco products are permitted. NO smoking or use of any device that emits a vapor in the air while on the bus.

• Excessively loud noise is not permitted.

• Drivers are not responsible for items left on the bus.

• When using a cell phone, be courteous to others and speak softly.

Hygiene:  A passenger may not be allowed on a KATS vehicle and/or property if his or her body odor or physical hygiene will disturb the reasonable comfort of other passengers or Transit Staff.  Bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, urine, feces, and/or open wounds creates an immediate public health threat and are safety reasons for denying someone from using KATS. Odors may include but are not limited to scents related to unlaundered clothing, lack of bathing, animal related odors, and excessive perfumes. A passenger will be given notice and an opportunity to correct the odor or hygiene problem prior to suspension resulting in discontinued riding privileges for certain set periods of time, unless in the judgment of the Transit staff, that person places existing passengers in extreme discomfort or is considered a health risk to others. Passengers with mobility devices must maintain such devices in a state of cleanliness. Please ensure that wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices are clean, safe and in good working condition.  Passengers requiring a catheter must maintain the catheter in an enclosed space free from public view.

Note: Bus drivers may refuse service to anyone not following the above guidelines or anyone whose behavior or hygiene may be hazardous to safe travel. Remember with your help we can meet your transportation needs and better serve you.


Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

The City of Kingsport and KATS complies with all applicable requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) 42 USC 12101 e.t. sec; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 USC 794; and section 16 of the Federal Transit Act, as amended, 49 USC app 1612.

Title VI 
It is the policy of the City of Kingsport and KATS to participate in Tennessee Department of Transportation Title VI program. The Tennessee Department of Transportation ensures compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 49 CFR, part 21; related statutes and regulations to the end that no person shall be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation on the grounds of race, color, sex, or national origin.

El Departamento de Transporte del Estado de Tennessee asegura el cumplimiento del Título VI del Acto de Derechos Civiles de 1964; 49 CFR, Parte 21, relacionados estatutos y normas para asegurar que ninguna persona sea excluida o discriminada, o que se le nieguen los beneficios de cualquier programa o actividad la cual reciba ayuda financiera federal del Departamento de Transporte de los Estados Unidos sin importar su raza, color, sexo, edad, origen nacional, o minusvalía física.

Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against should contact:

Cualquier persona quien crea que ha sido discriminada deberá comunicarse con el:

Tennessee Department of Transportation – Departamento de Transporte de Tennesse
Civil Rights Office – La Oficina de Derechos Civiles
505 Deaderick Street Suite 1800
James K. Polk Building
Nashville, TN 37243-034
Telephone: 615.741.3681 or Toll Free 1.888.370.3647
Telefono: 615.741.3681 or Llamada Gratis 1.888.370.3647

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

It is the policy of the City of Kingsport and KATS to investigate the full extent of services offered by financial institutions owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in the community, to make reasonable efforts to use these institutions, and to encourage prime contractors on DOT-assisted contract to make use of these institutions. The TNUCP is charged with the responsibility of certifying firms for the purpose of maintaining a database of certified DBEs for the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) grantees in the state of Tennessee. This is pursuant to the Final Rule 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 26 that requires U.S. DOT recipients to take part in a statewide uniform certification process. For more information about the DBE program and TNUCP click the link http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/civil-rights/smallbusiness/. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the KATS DBE Liaison Officer, Jack Qualls at 423.224.2613.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

Low Literacy and limited English Proficiency 
DOT Guidance to Recipients on Special Language Services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) Beneficiaries 

Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient, or “LEP.” These individuals may be entitled language assistance with respect to a particular type or service, benefit, or encounter. Federal laws particularly applicable to language access include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Title VI regulations, prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, and Executive Order 13166 issued in 2000. Many individual federal programs, states, and localities also have provisions requiring language services for LEP individuals. An Executive Order is an order given by the President to federal agencies. The LEP Executive Order (Executive Order 13166) says that people who are LEP should have meaningful access to federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities.

The City of Kingsport and KATS makes every effort to comply with Executive Order 13166. Executive Order 13166 requires all agencies that provide federal financial assistance to issue guidance on how recipients of that assistance can take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access consistent with Title VI and the Title VI regulations. The Order also requires that federal agencies create plans for ensuring that their own activities also provide meaningful access for persons who are LEP. More information on Executive Order 13166 can be found at:

Executive Order 13166: Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency 

Quick Links to important KATS information

View KATS Routes  |  Dial-A-Ride Services  |  Fares  |  Rider Code of Conduct  |  DBE Policy