In your Jan. 3 issue ["What Knoxville Needs," cover story], Stephanie Edwards is quoted as saying "Most people I know are afraid to ride public transportation in Knoxville..." If so, that's a real shame because there's nothing to be afraid of.
The drivers are unfailingly friendly, courteous, and helpful. They'll show you how the fare box works (you don't need exact change), tell you where the stop nearest your destination is (and stop there for you), and explain where and when to catch the bus going back the other direction.
The buses are almost never early—drivers can be penalized for going through checkpoints early. They are also seldom more than five minutes late unless they get hung up in traffic (just like you would if you were in your own car).
The other riders? More females than males, more young than old, lots of UT students. And if you ride the same bus for a few weeks, you'll no longer be among strangers. It's mostly the same people you've ridden with before.
Come on in, the riding's fine!