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While staying in downtown Chattanooga, you most likely won't need your car. You can keep it parked at your hotel for free or pay a few dollars in one of several parking garages and lots. Most tourist spots in downtown are very close together, within walking distance. There is also free bus service in the downtown area on CARTA's electric, pollution-free vehicles. Pickups are about every five minutes in most places. Currently the free downtown route only travels between the Choo-Choo parking garage at the southern end and the Bijou/Imax/Aquarium garage on the northern end, which covers just about everything on this side of the river. There are plans to build a parking garage just off Frazier Avenue on the north side of the river and then to extend the free shuttle here, which will be a big relief to the overcrowded parking situation here. This will probably not be completed for 2-3 years however. There is also bus service to most other areas of town, although if you travel outside downtown, it is not free, but still very reasonably priced. Otherwise, just drive to any other areas of town. Information about CARTA's routes, fares, and pickup times can be found on their website or by phone. Last of all, Chattanooga is becoming known as an excellent bicycle town, with many big races and other events. There are dedicated bicycle routes all around town, and this is an especially good way to get around the downtown areas fast and conveniently since the free bus route only covers the north/south Market and Broad Streets. Bicycle racks can be found in many places and the buses have racks for them as well.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Chattanooga can easily be reached by car, especially if you live in the Southeast. It is within two hours driving distance of Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville, and Knoxville. Interstate 75 runs through Chattanooga, while Interstates 24 and 59 begin here. Our airport, although small, currently offers service from Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Cincinatti, Chicago, DC, Dallas, and Houston. Also, the cities of Chattanooga and Atlanta are partnering up to try to build a high-speed rail service between our two airports. This is in effort to transfer some of Atlanta airport's massive amount of business to Chattanooga and to reduce traffic along I-75 between the two cities. If this rail is built, one will be able to get from Atlanta to Chattanooga in about half an hour, and will make Chattanooga easily accessible to the entire world as Atlanta already is. With Congress willing, high-speed ground travel will one day be commonplace in America, although probably never as popular as it is in Europe.
Updated Nov 26, 2005
The free electric shuttle that goes around downtown Chattanooga is just great. It goes close to most of the main attractions of downtown Chattanooga, which is nice. All of the shuttle's stops are clearly marked, so you don't have to try to "hail" the shuttle. This is a very nice transportation system for a city this size.
Updated Jun 12, 2004
This is the first city we have been in where the city footed the bill for the downtown buses.
No tickets to buy, no coins to stick in the bus-box, no all-day passes to lose.... just smile and get on and ride.
The buses were all electric; quiet, pollution-free. The drivers were courteous and instructive to help us get where we were going in a strange city.
Written Mar 1, 2007
Those who have a difficult time ascending or descending stairs, as well a lazy folks, will appreciate this glass enclosed sidewalk elevator, which is located between the Tennessee Aquarium and the Walnut Street Bridge. Alexandria and Nicholas, my grandchuildren, enjoyed it to. An outdoor sculpture garden adorns the area both above and below the elevator.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The surrounding area from downtown is large and deceiving as to how far until you drive it. US 75 and 24 connect here. There can be traffic jams, especially when the ice effects the roads here. Due to elevation and fringe of weather impact, it can get icy here often. There are also many traffic accidents on the highway due to slippery pavement and speedy drivers. That stops everything dead. WE waited once for about 5 hours to get through the town going south.
Updated Apr 16, 2009
Chattanooga offers a free Electric Shuttle Service that will get you around the downtown area free of charge. It runs from the north terminal by the aquarium down to the south terminal near the Chattanooga choo-choo museum.
It's run by CARTA who also offers a more extensive bus line over other parts of Chattanooga.
It's a good way to get around town, the Electric shuttles are quiet, the drivers are extremely friendly and best of all, it's FREE!
Written May 16, 2005
Drive there and park all day for $5.00.
Bus shuttle all over town free. It was nice to get off and on where we wanted to see the sites this way. It was more convenient.
Updated Jul 24, 2003
4 Reviews and 330 Opinions We will never stay here again! The restaurant is great, but unfortunately the rooms don't have...
2 Reviews and 241 Opinions Immediately given a warm welcome when we arrived. Got to our room and had a King Suite with a...
1 Review and 194 Opinions Have not stayed here, just my opinion as a local. Very nice and convenient upscale hotel in the...