By Kirsten Raper, Chattanooga, Tenn. —
Students have more opportunities now than ever before to attend events downtown and at Finley Stadium, with the new addition of the Mocs Express weekend route.
The weekend route goes around campus and then to several places downtown some of which include the Tennessee Aquarium, Market Street and Finley Stadium.
One of the main goals of adding this new route was to encourage students, especially those who live on campus, to attend football games at Finley Stadium.
“This route is very convenient for the games that we have at Finley Stadium because students do not have to worry about parking,” said Michelle Prince, director of Auxiliary Services. “There are a lot of buildings being built around Finley, which from my understanding has taken away a lot of the student parking.”
The weekend route proved to be especially successful during the first game of the season said Prince.
“There was a lot of promotion and hype about the [first] game. The shuttles filled up every time they stopped and CARTA [eventually] decided to pick students up from campus and take them straight to Finley without going through all of downtown,” said Prince.
The weekend route has more purposes than just transporting students to games, though. Students can also use the shuttle as way of safely getting back to their dorms.
“Someone at a conference told me that their campus has this same system set up for its students, so that late at night [students] can, for example, go to a bar, or do anything else they want to do and have a safe and secure way to get back to their residence halls,” said Prince.
Furthermore, students can use the weekend route as a chance to get out of their dorms and connect with the community. “We’re hoping UTC students will become more motivated of the fact that they can get out of their residence halls and engage with the downtown community,” said Prince.
Students appreciate the fact that CARTA offers the Mocs Express for them to use when they need it.
“It is really convenient and a great way to get around town,” said Rachel Dow, a junior from Hendersonville, Tenn.
According to a recent blog post on UTC’s website, the weekend shuttle runs on Thursdays and Fridays from 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. and on Saturdays from 12 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
Students can ride the Mocs Express as well as any other CARTA route for free by showing their student IDs when entering the shuttle.
For more information about the weekend route call 425-4051 or visit the Parking Services webpage on UTC’s website.