Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when and where to catch CARTA buses?
First, check out CARTA’s online Trip Planner app. CARTA has partnered with Google Transit, a public transit trip planning feature of Google Maps. Just enter your start and end point (You may need to list Chattanooga, TN within the option fields to narrow your search), the date, and time you want to arrive at your destination, and click “Get Directions” to begin your trip. The trip planner will provide three options with the travel time and number of transfers.
Another option is to check out the Routes and Schedules (Routes and Schedules for mobile) section of this website or call the CARTA Information Line at (423) 629-1473 between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. A Customer Service Representative is available to answer your questions about where and when to catch the bus. If you prefer, CARTA will mail you the route and schedule information you need. Bus schedules may also be obtained at participating banks, credit unions, libraries, EPB downtown, malls and many service agencies as well as on the buses. Bus stops are marked with red, white and blue bus stop signs. CARTA drivers try very hard to be on time. Get to your bus stop a few minutes early to make sure you catch your bus. CARTA sets its clocks to SunTrust Bank time. Call (423) 265-1411 for a time check.
Relay Service 711
The State of Tennessee provides a free, state-wide assisted relay service at 711 so people who use text telephone (TTY) or other assisted device are able to have phone conversations with people who do not have TTY numbers.
This confidential service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the United States. There is no charge to either person in the conversation. Since operators who answer use voice and TTY, dialing 711 works whether or not the person placing the call is using a TTY.
Outside of the state, Tennessee residents may call the following numbers:
How do I know I am getting on the correct bus?
The route number and name appear on signs above the front window and on the curb side of each bus. These signs identify the route on which the bus is operating. If you’re not sure, ask the bus driver.
How much does it cost to ride CARTA?
CARTA’s one way cash fare is $1.50. Seniors, students and persons with disabilities can ride CARTA for 75 one way, with proper identification, and we offer several bus passes. The fare boxes accept dollar bills no larger than $20.00 and any denomination of coins. Children ages 5 & under ride free with a paying passenger. The CARTA Care-a-van costs $2.50 one way, $5.00 round trip. For more information about our bus fares and passes, please visit the Fares page.
Where can I purchase the unlimited ride passes?
All CARTA’s bus passes can be purchased at the CARTA administrative office located at 1617 Wilcox Boulevard or at the Chattanooga Parking Authority located at 1362 Market Street next to the Choo Choo. The 24 Hour Unlimited Ride Pass can be purchased from the bus drivers, and the 31 Day Unlimited Ride Pass can be purchased at any First Bank.
Where does the fare go?
Enter the front door and place exact fare (drivers cannot make change) in the fare box at the top of the steps. Just slide your cash fare into the fare box or tap the fare box with your unlimited ride pass.
Where should I sit?
Observe priority seating in the front of the bus for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. For safety, babies and young children must be removed from strollers and held securely. It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that strollers are folded and securely placed out of the aisle.
How do I signal the driver I want to get off the bus?
When you get close to your destination, press the yellow tape or pull the yellow cord above your head or between the windows. This lets the driver know you want to get off at the next bus stop. Remember that bus drivers can only stop at designated bus stops and where it is safe. After getting off the bus, please wait until traffic has cleared before crossing the street.
What if I’ve lost something on the bus?
Call the CARTA Information Line at (423) 629-1473 between 6:00 a.m. & 8:00 p.m., Monday – Saturday and we will try to locate it for you.
Are CARTA buses wheelchair accessible?
Yes, CARTA is 100% wheelchair accessible.