Public transportation has a long history in Lexington, dating back to the 19th century with city omnibuses in 1875, mule cars in 1882 and electric streetcars in 1890. Motorized buses were introduced in 1938 and trolley bus service in 1982.

     Today the Lexington Transit Authority (LexTran) is the public transportation system, and it operates a fleet of 42 buses, with eight buses on a University of Kentucky campus shuttle service. The mainline service runs from 5:30am until 8:20pm, and bus lines have been numbered and color-coded to ease confusion for riders. LexTran operates 10 key routes, servicing the major areas along each. All of these routes are wheelchair accessible, and every LexTran bus is equipped with a bike rack on the front.

     Regular bus fare is $1 and includes unlimited transfers on one-way trips, and other reduced fares are available to individuals who qualify. Seniors with ID card are half-fare, children under the age of six ride free with an adult, and there are discounts for students.

     There is also a Red Cross Wheels program that has been created for persons who have a disability that would prevent them from utilizing the regular LexTran buses. These mini-buses operate on a demand and response based system to provide door-to-door service, and reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.

     Colt Trolleys are Lexington's newest form of transportation.  The hybrid-electric trolleys have two routes, Blue and Green. Both routes are free!  Blue loops around Main and Vine Streets while the Green route runs from the University of Kentucky to Transylvania University (from Avenue of Champions down Limestone Street to Upper Street).  Both routes run Monday-Friday from 11:30 am-2 pm. The Blue route runs 6 pm-1 am Thursday-Saturday and the Green route runs 8 pm-3 am Thursday-Saturday.