TANK announces launch of redesigned network

Jan. 8, 2021
Newly redesigned routes, fare simplification and more frequent service in key corridors start Jan, 30.

The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) will launch its system redesign Jan. 30, introducing the most significant change to Northern Kentucky’s bus system the 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 System Redesign began as a service planning project over 18 months ago, with the goal to concentrate service in key, high demand corridors, consolidate services in the suburban areas and align resources to meet the needs of the changing community. The process 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 TANK 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.

Greater frequency, longer operating hours

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 5:00 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.”

New routes and destinations served more effectively

2x CVG Airport: The new Route 2X to CVG airport – a bus every 30 minutes from early morning to after midnight, seven days a week. This route will serve the Terminal, CVG Centre, DHL, Amazon Prime Air with premium service.

Covington Health Connection: The new Covington Health Connection will serve the core of Covington and the area surrounding St. Elizabeth Covington.

 Route cancellation

As part of the planning study, some routes were identified for cancellation due to very low ridership. These routes will no longer operate after January 29, 2021:

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

The resources from these cancelled routes will be put into higher ridership areas of the route network.

New bus operators

To ensure that TANK can meet the service levels called for in this plan, the agency is now actively hiring bus operators. 

Key outcomes

The final plan represents a massive change to the region’s transit system and, once implemented, will provide the following outcomes:

  • The number of people within walking distance to frequent transit will increase by 155 percent.
  • The number of jobs within walking distance to frequent transit will increase by 58 percent.
  • The number of transportation disadvantaged individuals within walking distance of frequent transit will increase by 157 percent.
  • The number of peak vehicles needed to operate the new system will decrease by 20 percent.

“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 Jan. 30, 2021 is the implementation of the TANK Simplified Fare Structure. Cash fare will be $1.50 for all routes (except for 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,” said Aiello. “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.”