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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

TANK bus service announces launch of redesigned network


TANK’s (Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky) has completed its major planning study and has announced its new redesigned routes, fare simplification and more frequent service in key corridors starting Saturday, January 30, 2021. 



With the redesign some of the routes will no longer operate after January 29, 2021. Those include:

- 1X Florence Express
- 9 Taylor Mill 
- 11 Fort Thomas
- 18X Edgewood Express -
- 28X Empire Drive/Industrial Rd. Express 
- 31X Rolling Hills Dr. Express
- 35X East-West Express

In a release, TANK said that the resources from these cancelled routes will be put into higher ridership areas of the route network.

At the June 2020 council meeting, Fort Thomas City Administrator Ron Dill, told council that despite the pleas from the city and council to keep some of the routes intact, TANK could not grant those wishes. 

"We’ve certainly done out part to project the idea that Fort Thomas shouldn’t be left out of the loop. There were a lot of contributing factors in their decisions. The idea of having TANK go through our community is really important to us, and we indicated that repeatedly to them in writing, and in their forums and in private meetings with them," Dill said.

"It comes down to ridership and comes down to financing for the most part," he explained. "And the ridership numbers in Fort Thomas were not supporting the financing that goes along with it. They are now at the final stage of moving forward and are asking the fiscal courts to budget for their plans. You can see all their info on their website."

The TANK release noted that, "With the launch of the System Redesign on January 30, TANK will be introducing the most significant change to Northern Kentucky’s bus system our community has seen in a generation.  With this change, TANK will increase the frequency of bus service in developed corridors, improve weekend and evening service for those working in the service sector, consolidate suburban services, and improve access to high job-growth areas such as CVG."


The process began 18 months ago and included engagement with dozens of stakeholder agencies, communication with elected officials, and multiple rounds of public involvement.  The final plan was shaped and refined by the input received from the community over the 18-month period.

“This plan is a reflection of the needs and desires of our community,” said General Manager Andrew Aiello.  “TANK spent months creating the plan with significant input from the Counties that fund TANK, the riders that use TANK, and the local communities in which TANK operates.”




The resulting plan represents a major change in the way that transit service will be operated in the Northern Kentucky community.

FOUR KEY SERVICE TYPES

Frequent Service

High frequency service on direct routes to key destinations

Neighborhood Service

Major lifeline routes for community circulation

Jobs Express

Routes scheduled around shift changes in industrial parks/job centers and provides peak Park & Ride service to and from Cincinnati

Commuter Express

Serves Park & Ride locations for commuter service to and from Cincinnati; primarily peak only service















TANK officials said that routes will see greater frequency throughout the day, later evening hours and a more robust weekend schedule. 

“We know that people that use transit don’t always work from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,” said Aiello.  “A key goal of this process was to give bus riders the level of service that they need for the jobs they hold – providing essential transportation for essential services and essential jobs that require employees to work evenings and weekends.
 
"These changes will provide better access to better transit for those that need it and use it most,” said Aiello.
 
FARE SIMPLIFICATION
 
Also effective on January 30, 2021 is the implementation of the TANK Simplified Fare Structure.  Cash fare will be $1.50 for all routes (with the exception of the Southbank Shuttle).  TANK’s 23 different fare types will be reduced to 10, making the system easier to use and more approachable for first time riders.

“With simplification of the fare structure, we have placed a new emphasis on the Transit app for fare payment, via mobile device.  Using the app eliminates the need for having bulk passes, paying in advance and complicated fare payment options – Transit app is the one-stop-shop for paying fare, planning trip and tracking your bus.” said Aiello.
 
 
JANUARY 30, 2021
 
The schedule change is effective with the start of the service day on Saturday, January 30, 2021.  Printed schedules will be available beginning the week of January 18.  All changes and schedules can be viewed at https://www.tankbus.org/2021-service-changes 

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