|The #11 TANK bus waits for riders on N. Fort Thomas Avenue. FTM file.|
Concern about the proposed elimination and consolidation of Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) bus routes that serve Fort Thomas brought several people to the recent April city council meeting.
TANK has proposed major changes to bus routes 11 and 16 that serve northern Fort Thomas. In essence, route 11 stops would be eliminated entirely and route 16 service would be greatly reduced including elimination of a park-and-ride facility at the Newport Shopping Plaza.
RELATED: Bus Route in Fort Thomas May Be Eliminated
The group presented a list of concerns and alternatives for consideration, and asked for the city’s support and influence with the TANK Board and the Campbell County Fiscal Court in an effort save bus route 11 or to provide viable alternatives for riders.
Alternatives on their list included smaller buses, providing service only at peak commuting times, additional park-and-ride locations and a modest rate increase.
City Administrator Ron Dill said he has heard from other residents who are concerned about the changes. He said the city will advocate for consideration of alternatives to TANK’s proposal and that he feels both TANK and the county will give citizen input careful consideration.
TANK issue promotes citizen action
Now is the time to speak up with concerns about the proposed changes, said Marjorie Hull, a resident of Sterling Avenue who commutes each day to work on TANK Route 11.
When Hull first received word of the route changes at the end of March through a text message from TANK, she spoke to her bus driver and other passengers about her concerns and discovered few knew about the proposal.
“I knew about 15 to 20 consistent riders on the 7:09 [a.m.] bus I take. Most are monthly pass holders. I decided I needed to mobilize these people. If we didn’t take a unified approach to this, not make our voices heard, we might be out of luck,” she said.
Hull developed a sign-up sheet and asked fellow riders and neighbors to call, email and to attend public meetings. At the first public meeting on the topic, 30 people affected by different route changes attended, including six from northern Fort Thomas.
The group brainstormed alternatives to the proposal. “We didn’t want to just come with a demand, but with some ideas and options,” said Hull.
“We want to encourage TANK to be creative in its approach to this issue and to try to accommodate as many people as possible. Access to public transportation is a quality of life issue.”
At the council meeting, she encouraged city officials to consider the impact loss of service can have on issues of safety, walkability and the environment.
Public comments were heard last night, April 19, at the Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting in Newport.
For more information on the proposed changes, see the TANK website. To voice your concerns on the issue, call the TANK hotline at 859-814-2138 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.