Updated: Nov 5, 2020
This week, #TeamBeargrassThunder met with Jeremy Priddy who is the Executive Communications Manager for TARC at Union Station downtown. He was kind enough to give us a thorough tour of the building, and then sat down with us to discuss the current, short, and long-term goals of TARC.
Union Station is a historic railroad station located on Broadway between 10th and 11th streets in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Construction began in the 1880s, and after various budget issues were addressed by 1889, the building was completed in 1891.
Designed by the chief architect for the L&N railroad, Union Station features beautiful ceramic tile flooring, marble walls, and 89 panels of stained glass. Inside there are some original hundred-year-old benches, clock tower, and the last remaining mule-drawn trolley car on display.
TARC was deeded Union Station from L&N Railroad, who then worked to restore and preserve the building, and also use it as a headquarters and office space for TARC's daily operations.
Nearly every immigrant in 1900s Louisville arrived through the doors of Union Station. This would include guests like US Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. 1922 was the peak of passenger rail service with 120 trains arriving and departing daily, with this number decreasing down to 76 daily trains by 1976. Halloween Day 1976 marked the final passenger train departure from Union Station for Nashville.
Needless to say, Union Station is one of the most important historical landmarks of Louisville, and it's preservation is greatly appreciated by Louisvillians. Thank you, TARC, for protecting this amazing and beautiful building!
After the tour, we sat down with Jeremy Priddy, the Communications Manager for TARC to discuss how transit has changed in Louisville and what to expect going forward. We discussed how TARC's LINC Project helps citizens suggest "desire lines" and allows TARC to expand bus routes in a way that's most beneficial. Jeremy talked about the transition from paper to digital bus passes, creating bus stops, working with other public transit companies such as Uber, Lift, Bird, LouVelo, and other scooter and bike share companies, as well as the Bus Rapid Transit system which is set to launch early in 2020!
We want to thank Jeremy for being a gracious host, and also recommend visiting Union Station yourself! The address is 1000 West Broadway and is open to the public Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday 9am-noon. Also if you have any suggestions for TARC please don't hesitate to reach out to them via their website our social media.
At Beargrass Thunder, we believe that for our seniors and children, public transportation needs to be easy and readily accessible on all main roads for Louisville to compete with other cities.
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