City of Knoxville to hire KAT general manager itself

City of Knoxville drops transit management firm, to hire KAT general manager itself


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the expiration of a contract with Veolia Transportation on Nov. 30, the City of Knoxville says it will no longer contract with a professional transit management firm to provide the services of a general manager for Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), but will instead hire its own transit professional.

The new general manager report directly to the mayor and her designated senior leadership staff.

Mayor Madeline Rogero says this is the first step in a review and potential reorganization of transit services in Knoxville to increase accountability to the mayor, city council and the public; streamline the management and governance structure; improve efficiencies; control rising costs; and better align transit services with the city's overall vision for service delivery. 

The change in management was one of several recommendations by transit management consulting firm Gobis & Co. LLC.

The company's research concluded that KAT's current structure is cumbersome and often leads to confusion as to which organization is accountable for what transit responsibility. 

The mayor is studying the report's other recommendations, which include additional structural and operational changes, and will seek stakeholder input.

The city will conduct a search for a new general manager and expects to fill that position within a few months. In the meantime, Melissa Roberson, Chief Administrative Officer for KAT, will serve as interim General Manager.

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