Getting Around Chattanooga

Situated in southern Tennessee, Chattanooga is linked well to other parts of the state and the entire southern region of the country. Tennessee's fourth largest city is served by four interstate highways, which make driving by car the dominant form of transportation in Chattanooga. Spanning more than 300 miles, Interstate 24 provides a direct route to Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee. Interstate 59 connects to major southern cities such as Birmingham, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. Running between northern Michigan and southern Florida, Interstate 75 links Chattanooga with most of the Midwest and southeast region. In fact, I-75 provides a direct link to Atlanta, one of the largest metropolitan cities near Chattanooga. Because of the waterfront location along the Tennessee River, drivers should be prepared to cross multiple bridges and drive through tunnels when navigating Chattanooga.

Public transportation in Chattanooga is provided by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority. CARTA operates more than 15 bus routes throughout the city, making all major locations easily accessible. The bus routes are numbered and named after the streets and neighborhoods served. For example, Alton Park (Route 1) serves the Alton Park district of the city. Bus route 16 (Northgate) stops at the Northgate Mall, one of the major shopping centers in the city. Instead of using designated transit centers, transfers within the CARTA bus system can be made by waiting along the streets where the buses stop. Riders can also take advantage of CARTA electric buses, which operate free downtown shuttle services. Free bus shuttle services are also available to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga via the MOCS Express.

CARTA also operates the historic rail incline that provides a thrilling ride for tourists. The Lookout Mountain incline offers great views of Chattanooga and reveals the city's rich industrial age history. Despite having freight trains running through the city's historic tracks, unfortunately Chattanooga is not served by passenger rail service.

Served by several regional and national airlines, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport offers direct flights to major cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago and more. The small airport offers plenty of ground transportation options through six car rental facilities and multiple taxi and shuttle services. The airport is conveniently located only several miles away east of Downtown Chattanooga. Many of the city's hotels offer courtesy shuttle services. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport also offers sufficient parking spaces in short term, intermediate term, and long term lots.