|TANK proposes changing two bus routes that serve Alexandria to stop short of the city. (photo: cosmo2012, CC license)|
by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
As part of the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) 2020 redesign proposal, the two bus routes serving the city of Alexandria could be shortened to end before reaching the city limits.
The proposal outlines cutting the service of the 25 and 25X routes that go to a Park and Ride at 9000 Alexandria Pike and to the Village Green Shopping Center. Under the proposal, both would stop short of the city at the Meier store in Cold Spring, leaving Alexandria with no public bus service.
He attended the Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting where he expressed concern about the proposals. He also scheduled a meeting with the TANK general manager Andrew Aiello to provide feedback and voice his concerns.
TANK officials site a reduction in ridership and soaring costs as reason for the proposal, yet the mayor and council members expressed concern that the proposal was short-sighted and did not take into consideration growth within their community.
Officials urge TANK to consider future growth
City council member Tom Baldridge said, "We were the fastest growing city in 2018. How can we be losing bus service? It doesn’t make sense."
"We are the third largest city in Campbell County, and you’re telling me we are not going to have bus service...We are growing. Summer Lake has 193 homes that should be finished this year. Eagle Ridge has 64 homes that should finish this year. Timber Creek has 158...Arcadia is going to have 1,020 homes...," Schabell said.
Other council members agreed. Stacey Graus noted that the city has a shortage of rental units and likely will be adding more in the near future – a population that will very likely need and want bus service.
"Definitely in the next 10 to 12 years, we are going to see significant growth out here. If you cut us off, it will be hard to get that back. We deserve to have public transportation in Alexandria," Graus said. He noted that the citizens of Alexandria support TANK through the taxes they pay to the Campbell County Fiscal Court.
"So, obviously, from my standpoint, we need to tell TANK they can’t cut us off and say 'southern Campbell County, we don’t need you'...It’s a dollars and cents issue...then should our tax dollars go to them?" he asked.
Making your voice heard is important
City Attorney Mike Duncan disclosed that he also serves as an attorney for TANK and advised that the mayor, council and Alexandria citizens should make their concerns known. "They do take every comment they get seriously," he said.
The mayor also noted that Village Green is the only location for Walmart in the area and employs many people from outside the city who need to use the bus. He said he has spoken to county representatives and will share his concerns and that of his colleagues again with TANK.
He urged Alexandria residents to send comments to TANK as well. The feedback period ends January 31. To view the full TANK proposal go to TANK 2020 System Redesign webpages and use the online TANK feedback form provided or email TANK at firstname.lastname@example.org.