City: Pay attention to proposed bus changes

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Bus stops along Eastern Avenue would go away under TANK’s proposed route changes.

Residents, advocates encouraged to weigh in 

COVINGTON, Ky. - City of Covington officials continue to encourage residents, businesses, and advocates for vulnerable populations to pay attention to proposed changes to public bus service in the city and not hesitate to weigh in.
 
The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) is seeking public comment by Jan. 31 on the proposed changes, which are part of TANK’s redesign of the network to respond to budget pressures and evolution in ridership and riding patterns.
 
“We appreciate that TANK needs to constantly evaluate its service, but we also know that these are some pretty big changes as far as Covington is concerned,” City Manager David Johnston. “We want people to be aware of them and of the opportunity to describe what impact, if any, they will have.”
 
Members of the public can email their opinions to info@tankbus.org by Jan. 31. They also can fill out this FORM, which TANK officials distributed at a recent public hearing, or pick up a response form on a bus. The forms should be mailed by Jan. 28 to Frank Busofsky at TANK, 3375 Madison Pike, Fort Wright, KY 41017.
 
Covington Assistant City Manager Bruce Applegate, who has been the City’s liaison on the issue, summarized the proposed changes affecting Covington for the Covington Board of Commissioners: 
  • A consolidation of routes in Covington would remove all bus stops in the Eastside, Austinburg, and Helentown neighborhoods. Instead, those riders would have to walk west to Madison Avenue to catch a bus. 
  • The proposals would eliminate service to Fidelity Investments on Taylor Mill Hill, by far Covington’s largest employer. 
  • Residents traveling directly to Northern Kentucky University or the airport used to pick up those buses at central downtown stops or the Covington Transit Center (at Third Street and Madison Avenue). Under the proposed changes, they would need to take a connector route or the Southbank Shuttle into Cincinnati to transfer to those buses.
  • Covington residents needing to go to St. Elizabeth Hospital South in Edgewood would have to make at least one transfer instead of taking a direct route. 
  • The bus route between Covington and Independence would be discontinued, severing the connection between Covington residents and the county seat and between Independence residents and Covington’s restaurants, shops and employers. 
TANK’s presentation on the proposed changes can be seen in more detail HERE. TANK has said it hopes to have the new system in operation in Fall 2020.
 
Mayor Joe Meyer raised the issue last week during a caucus meeting of the Covington Board of Commissioners, saying he was concerned that people weren’t aware.
 
“The people of Covington should take a particularly close look at the proposed changes because they will have a significant impact on our community,” he said. “Those who have taken on the responsibility of advocating for people who are less well-off should also take a very close look and determine whether they can tolerate these changes.”
 
“This is not a done deal - there is still time for people to respond,” Meyer added.
 
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