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TARC Makes Fourth Street a Frequent Service Corridor

Louisville’s Fourth Street corridor, which connects South Louisville and downtown and includes many of the city’s major destinations, now features frequent public transportation service.

Following the success of frequent bus arrival times on two other routes, TARC is improving service on its Fourth Street route.  Between Iroquois Park and Market Street downtown, buses now arrive every 10 minutes north of Central Avenue and every 20 minutes south of Central Avenue from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The improved service, which began earlier this month, was announced today at a news conference on the University of Louisville Belknap campus, about mid-point along the route.

“The addition of Fourth Street as our third frequent service route reflects a growing demand for efficient public transportation on major corridors,” said J. Barry Barker, executive director of TARC. “Now Louisville has frequent bus service throughout the city on major thoroughfares. You don’t need a schedule and there’s no long wait for a ride.”

Ridership has increased 20 percent on Preston and Dixie highways (Route 18) and on Broadway and Bardstown Road (Route 23) since frequent service was added to those two routes in February of last year, Barker said.

The frequent service on Fourth Street is also expected to attract more passengers, Barker said.

The three frequent service routes combined carry more than 40 percent of TARC’s nearly 50,000 trips each weekday.  Of TARC’s 35 routes, Fourth Street ranks third in weekday ridership, with more than 4,000 boardings.

“Fourth Street is an increasingly vibrant and important educational and cultural corridor in Louisville,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.  “This improved TARC service makes it easier for people to connect to jobs, schools, sporting events and cultural attractions. Fourth Street has great potential for helping our city’s economy and people grow through new jobs and lifelong learning and a key element in realizing that potential is reliable, frequent and convenient public transportation.”

Fischer noted the route includes Spalding University, the University of Louisville Belknap campus and the U of L Health Sciences Center just east of downtown. 

The route also provides service to Iroquois Park and the Iroquois Amphitheater, Churchill Downs, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the J.B. Speed Art Museum, Central Park, the Louisville Free Public Library main branch; Fourth Street Live and the KFC Yum! Center.

Congressman John Yarmuth helped secure federal funding to begin TARC’s frequent service on Preston and Dixie highways and Broadway and Bardstown Road. The funding came through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and was authorized by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“I was proud to support federal investments for TARC’s frequent routes initiatives, and the success of these programs has led to the improvements that begin today on the Fourth Street route,” Yarmuth said. “Riders from Iroquois Park to the U of L campus to Market Street will gain from this new frequent route, and the reductions in congestion and improvements in air quality will benefit all Louisvillians.”

At U of L, students, faculty and staff rely on TARC to access educational and other destinations. TARC and U of L formed a partnership 10 years ago for students, faculty and staff to ride fare-free by showing their university photo identification card when boarding a bus. Since then, the university community has logged more than 10 million TARC trips – more than a million trips a year, U of L Provost Shirley Willihnganz said.

“Our partnership means transportation does not have to be a barrier to education or what life has to offer in Louisville,” Willihnganz said. “From Fourth Street, you can quickly get to the grocery store, doctor, downtown shopping and restaurants – as well as to the KFC YUM! Center for a basketball or volleyball game. The improved service is welcome - not just for U of L but for the entire Louisville community.”

Regular TARC fares apply to frequent service routes including Fourth Street.  One-way adult fare is $1.75. For all fare categories and fees and online ticket purchasing, visit www.ridetarc.org.