By Bryan Mercke–

Innovation has always helped pave the way for a brighter future. Even the tiniest innovation can help make great strides in improving a system, and the Transit Authority of River City bussing system is no different. TARC services Jefferson, Bullitt and Oldham counties in Kentucky, and Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana.

Recently, TARC teamed up with the Google Transit partnership program, and for University of Louisville students, this improvement in accessibility could be the tipping point between buying a parking pass and driving their car to campus or riding the bus.

Students already enjoy the privilege of riding TARC for free if they present their student ID, and now students may also enjoy the convenience of being able to search for the quickest bus route home straight from their smart phone or anywhere on the web. TARC is so fond of the feature that they even put it on their homepage.

This feature can also be found using Google Maps if the user clicks the bus button as opposed to the default car button.

For students who do not live near a bus stop and still do not wish to buy a parking pass for campus, they may want to consider looking up the Park & TARC program located on the TARC website.
Public transportation is essential for helping cities grow and operate smoothly. It is no news to anyone that Louisville has struggled with transportation issues; this is why the Ohio River Bridges Project is being considered. TARC teaming up with Google costs no money to the city, and has the potential to greatly increase bus use among Louisvillians because of increased accessibility.

Urban revitalization is a real possibility if public transportation becomes more widespread.

Ashley Roberts of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville said to WDRB in an interview, “Many of our members are moving downtown, and that’s why the issue of transportation is so vital to us… We need options in order for more people to move downtown.”

TARC usage will need to increase ridership if the city is going to expand funding. For current University students and Louisville residents, riding the bus could be one more way to save money for the holiday season.

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Photo: Shelby Stafford/The Louisville Cardinal