Work brings detours to transit routes

Topper Transit routes will be changed temporarily for a week while electrical work closes part of State Street.

From today to until next Tuesday, the White, Red and Green Lines will detour onto Chestnut Street, according to an e-mail sent by Parking and Transportation Services.

The city is putting high-voltage lines underground in Kiss Me Quick Alley and needs to dig trenches across State Street, said Stephen Rowland, transit manager at Parking and Transportation.

Normal Drive/State Street will be closed to through traffic from Regents Avenue to College Heights Boulevard during the project, Rowland said.

The closure means that the bus stops at Pearce-Ford Tower, Mass Media and Technology Hall, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (which has replaced the Mimosa stop), Environmental Sciences and Technology Building and College High Hall will not be accessible, Rowland said. 

The White and Red Lines will be combined into a single route that will come more frequently and detour on Chestnut Street, according to the e-mail. The Green Line will also detour along Chestnut Street, while the Blue Line will not be affected.

Temporary stops will be set up at the corner of Normal Drive and Regents Avenue as well as two along Chestnut Street, Rowland said.

It’s an unusual situation for Parking and Transportation to create a detour and temporary stops, but students should be able to get where they want to go, Rowland said.

Sarah Bice, a freshman from Franklin, Tenn., said the changes in bus routes this week wouldn’t affect her, but she sees how some students will experience problems.

“I know there are some people who go to South Campus, and if they don’t have a car they might not understand the different bus routes,” Bice said.

Kaleigh Cushenberry, a freshman from Franklin, Tenn., said she never uses Topper Transit. She said she would rather walk or use transportation provided by her friend, Bice.

“Even though I have a class at South Campus, I drive Sarah’s car and never take the bus,” she said. “The buses are confusing. I can’t figure out the bus routes.”

Details and a map of the changes are posted on Parking and Transportation’s website at, and signs will be posted at the affected stops, Rowland said.

Reporter Caitlin Carter contributed to this story.