Community Economy

Three new bus routes in Louisville will connect workers to major employment centers starting Monday.

TARC Route 46 will run in south Louisville from the Iroquois Amphitheater to Preston Highway, south of Interstate 265. Buses will operate on weekdays during early morning and mid-to-late afternoon hours.

TARC Route 73 will stretch from downtown Louisville to the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Ind. Rides will be available on both weekdays and weekends during early morning and mid-afternoon to evening hours.

TARC Route 74 will connect east Louisville to the River Ridge Commerce Center. Buses will run on weekdays during early morning and late afternoon to evening hours. Route 74 will also be the city’s first bus route connecting east Louisville to Southern Indiana, using I-265 to cross the Ohio River.

Aida Copic, TARC’s director of planning, said the goal of the additions is to improve job access. All of the new routes travel through business parks and other areas of employment.

The routes have been funded for the next three years, mostly through over $3 million in grants from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The initiative supports transportation projects by local and state governments that reduce air pollution.

Copic said TARC could apply for more funding if community support is strong.

“If this service is successful, as we expect it to be, and the ridership establishes itself, we would like to continue providing this access to jobs that is very important for the community,” she said.

For the Southern Indiana routes, Copic said the agency worked with the River Ridge Development Authority and Amazon, which has a fulfillment center at the business park, to determine where the new bus stops should be located.

Josh Staten is the director of Business Development and Community Relations at River Ridge Development Authority, which manages the business park. He said his organization has been in contact with TARC to handle businesses’ needs for public transportation access.

“Anytime we have companies looking at moving to River Ridge, looking at expanding in River Ridge, a question we get a lot is about mass transit, or about TARC routes. And so when we have that come up, we always discuss with TARC staff and we keep them in the loop as projects are developing that could have a large ridership need,” Staten said.

TARC has been operating at River Ridge Commerce Center for almost a decade. Route 71 currently serves the business park, downtown Louisville and New Albany.

Jacob is WFPL's Business and Development Reporter.