Tell Mayor Greenberg and Louisville Metro Council to Get on the Bus and Fund TARC!

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg and Louisville Metro Council

The working class has been continuously denied freedom of movement. As socialists, we hope to help change that. We need YOUR voice to make this happen—sign the petition today!

For far too long, Louisville leaders have not prioritized public transportation. The current funding model for the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) implemented in 1974 is archaic and insufficient. TARC needs adequate and consistent funding to make it a reliable and effective service for its riders, many of whom are going to work or school. These riders—primarily working class and people of color—are experiencing service cuts and delays, waiting at uncovered, poorly marked stops for buses—if they show up at all!—with outdated technology and inadequate accessibility, driven by underpaid drivers. Louisville Metro residents need and deserve more.



The “Get On The Bus” campaign (GOTB) is a joint effort of the Louisville chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (LDSA), in close coordination with ATU local 1447, to apply sustained pressure on Louisville Metro Council and the Mayor's office to make good on their promises to prioritize public transit, as outlined in Mayor Greenberg’s 2023 Economic Development Strategic Plan, TARC’s Long Range Plan 2022, and Louisville Metro’s Plan 2040.

To learn more about the campaign and other ways to get involved, visit

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Louisville, KY

To: Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg and Louisville Metro Council
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mayor Craig Greenberg and Louisville Metro Council,

TARC’s mission is to “explore and implement transportation opportunities that enhance the social, economic, and environmental well-being of its service area.” Without adequate and consistent funding, that mission is under attack.

Every day, 330 drivers help an average of 37,468 people arrive at their destination using one or more of 31 fixed bus routes, covering 1,076 miles, that serves the Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. Approximately 4.8 million individuals ride TARC every year, nearly half of whom have reported an income of below $20,000. For many, TARC is their sole means of transportation and will be for the foreseeable future.

TARC is more than just an “option” for its riders, it delivers a workforce to employers who serve all of us, bridges gaps between communities, and opens doors to opportunity and education. Eighty percent of TARC riders are going to work or to school. For the riders of 312,000 annual paratransit trips, it guarantees a level of mobility and dignity that enriches their day-to-day lives. Simply put, TARC is not only critical to the lives and livelihoods of Louisville Metro residents but also essential to the economic success of our entire region.

TARC riders have spoken, and they have a lot to say. A survey conducted in spring 2023 by an ATU partner revealed that a majority of TARC riders experience late buses regularly. The same survey asked non-TARC riders what would encourage them to use public transit more often if at all: they need more frequent and direct service, more stops close to their desired destinations and homes, and improved stops that make the service easier to use.

TARC’s aspirational 2040 Long Range Plan makes it clear that not only is TARC poised for change, but that there is still A LOT of work to do. And they can’t do it without additional and sustained support from Mayor Greenberg and Louisville Metro Council. The current funding model for TARC which was originally implemented in 1974 is archaic and insufficient. In the face of record inflation; increased traffic congestion on unsafe roads; and apparent climate change, TARC needs and deserves more.

As Louisvillians and supporters of public transit, we demand that the Louisville Metro Council establish operational funding for TARC in the annual city budget and commit to maintaining that funding in every annual budget moving forward. Many of us rely on TARC to take us where we need to go on a daily basis. It is an essential service that cannot be taken for granted.

Using the objectives laid out in TARC’s 2040 Long Range Plan as a road map, this sustained increase would:
• grow ATU worker pay while also providing additional training and maintenance support—what’s good for drivers is good for riders!
• reduce bus no-shows and increase bus frequency to every 15 minutes, effectively reversing recent service cuts that have punished working-class riders who rely on public transit the most.
• expand operational service to reach new riders, including through rapid transit options and increased hours of operation.
• implement best-in-class technology solutions that keep up with industry standards and ensure a consistent commuting experience for riders—tap & pay payment is just the beginning.
• build more covered stops with larger, updated signage that make TARC easier to use and rely upon, especially for new riders.
• prioritize accessibility throughout TARC’s service footprint, remedying the roughly 25% of bus stops that are not ADA-compliant.

One only needs to look at comparable public transit systems, to recognize that funding for Louisville Metro’s public transit system lags far behind. For example, the budget of Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), which has several key indicators similar to TARC’s, is nearly $100 million more than TARC’s. In 2020, COTA was named Outstanding Midsize Public Transit System by American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Mayor Greenberg promised to “improve public transportation to create high density corridors of opportunity, with a focus on routes serving working families and their places of employment.” It’s time for that promise to come to fruition. Louisville Metro deserves award-winning public transit. It’s time to Get On The Bus and give Louisville a lift.

Concerned citizens of Louisville and beyond