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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

TANK Conducting 2020 System Redesign Survey


TANK is taking a serious look at revamping its system for 2020. A survey offers residents one way to make their voices heard.

By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor 

The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) re-evaluates its ridership and routes about every five years. The company is inviting residents to provide feedback about the bus service through the 2020 System Redesign Survey posted on the its website.

Anyone who has tried to catch a bus to and from Fort Thomas knows the city’s service could be called skeletal at times. The official Fort Thomas route, bus 11, is actually a weekday-only commuter route, taking riders one way, from Fort Thomas to Cincinnati, for a short period in the morning and back to Fort Thomas in the early evening.

The NKU route number 16 is more robust in that it operates from about 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, but there is no evening service on weekdays, and there is an almost two-hour gap between runs on weekend service.

Another bus that runs both weekend and weekdays, Southgate/Alexandria 25, also stops in Fort Thomas on the south side of town near US 27 and Holly Woods Drive. There is an express component that runs the commuter route during rush hour only, away in the morning and towards Fort Thomas in the evening.

TANK ridership dropped from 3.2 million to 3 million riders between from 2017 to 2018, according to company data. The decline in Northern Kentucky is part of an ongoing downward trend in ridership across the country. Depending on where you look, bus ridership was down two to five percent between 2014 and 2018.

In 2017 TANK proposed cutting Route 11 and combining it with Route 16. Residents and city officials weighed in to save the service. It is too soon to know what the plans will be for 2020, but public input is encouraged, and may make a significant impact.

The company held a public meeting on the topic in August, and officials say another meeting is planned for this fall. Check the TANK website for more information, or contact the company directly via email at info@tankbus.org.
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