Getting Around Chattanooga
The best way to get around Chattanooga is via public transportation or by bike. Chattanooga's public transportation system offers a free electric shuttle service that drops visitors off at various points of interest in the city, including the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Tennessee Aquarium. The city also offers the Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, which has more than 33 stations spread throughout the downtown area and some in the North Shore district. If traveling by wheels isn't necessarily your cup of tea, then you won't miss much from simply walking. Chattanooga's downtown riverwalk snakes 13 miles along the Tennessee River and boasts numerous shops and restaurants, as well as popular attractions including the Bluff View Art District, the Passage and The Market Street Bridge, which is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. If you're looking to explore the famous natural attractions that Chattanooga has to offer, such as Lookout Mountain or the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Park, you'll need a car.
To get from the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) to your hotel, you can take a taxi or a shuttle bus, since getting around downtown Chattanooga doesn't require a car. Taxi rates are approximately $30 one-way from the airport to downtown Chattanooga. Additionally, cabs are available to take visitors throughout Chattanooga, but be forewarned: rates do add up.
CARTA, or the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, has 17 bus routes that stretch from North Chattanooga to the Tennessee-Georgia border and east to Ooltewah, Tennessee. The Free Electric Shuttle service runs from Shuttle Park North next to the aquarium through the downtown area to Shuttle Park South on Market Street, next to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The downtown shuttle runs about every five minutes daily from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, with abbreviated hours on the weekends. The North Shore Shuttle that goes across the Market Street Bridge to the North Shore district runs every 30 minutes from Shuttle Park North Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Regular bus fare costs $1.50 for adults and children 5 and younger can ride for free. Visitors can also purchase a 24-hour unlimited ride pass for $6, which includes $2 for the rechargeable card and $4 for the ride pass.
The Chattanooga Bicycle Transit system allows residents and visitors to rent bikes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visitors can purchase a 24-hour pass for $8 or a three-day pass for $15 for unlimited 60-minute station-to-station trips.
Another convenient way of getting around, especially if you want to visit Chattanooga's natural attractions, is by car. The city of Chattanooga owns and operates several parking garages in the downtown Chattanooga area and multiple lots throughout the city. Most city street parking is charged by meter. There are numerous car rental agencies stationed at the Chattanooga airport, and Hertz, Enterprise and National have offices in downtown Chattanooga.
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