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Here Are the Changes to TANK Bus Service in Bellevue, Dayton

The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) will make significant changes to its routes servicing Bellevue and Dayton, beginning November 1.
 
Route 23, servicing Bellevue, will be eliminated, and Route 12, which has primarily served  Dayton, will be re-routed to serve residents of both cities.
 
Route 23 was recommended for elimination by the 2013 Transit Network Study, an internal evaluation of services and efficiency that occurs every five years. Cutting the 23 was recommended due to extremely low ridership and because, as TANK General Manager Andrew Aiello told residents during a public forum back in June, the route was proving to be unprofitable, saying it "cannot be sustained long-term."
 
As was acknowledged at the June meeting, the two Route 12 re-route options proposed by TANK both came with their own advantages and disadvantages, the most significant of which is probably moving the route's entry point into Bellevue from Dave Cowens Dr. along the Newport riverfront south to Sixth St, which would have occurred with either option.
 
Also among the major changes, riders along Taylor Ave. in Bellevue will now need to walk to Fairfield Ave. to catch Route 12.
 
The new Route 12, after crossing the Taylor-Southgate Bridge into Newport, will take York St. up to Sixth St., which it will then follow all the way into Bellevue, passing under the I-471 overpass to the intersection of Riviera and Donnermeyer. It will then proceed left, up Riviera to Fairfield, where it will then enter Dayton via Fairfield. It will then resume its original route through Dayton, up and down Sixth, Fifth, and Fourth Avenues, before returning to Newport.
 
This route was selected over a second option, which would have routed the 12 up and down Taylor and Berry Avenues. This route was considered because it would provide street-side access to more Bellevue residents.
 
But a major concern among residents who attended the public forum was trying to find the right balance between serving a maximum number of residents while also avoiding the disruptive intrusion that can occur when buses run up and down some of Bellevue's relatively narrow residential streets, like Taylor and Berry.
 
To balance these competing concerns, TANK looked to future development plans in Bellevue. Gina Douthat, Director of Communications and Development, explained to RCN that the route down Taylor is much tighter and more difficult for a 40-foot bus to maneuver than the Riviera route.
 
"Development/Zoning plans show that Riviera is where commercial development will occur," Douthat said.
 
Other TANK riders were concerned that neither proposed re-route included Route 12 service along Dave Cowens Dr., currently only served by the 12 and the Southbank Shuttle. One woman explained at June's public forum that she uses the 12 frequently, often to reach a destination at Dave Cowens and Linwood, a destination the Shuttle does not serve.
 
To weigh this concern, TANK had to look at ridership numbers, Douthat said. "The Dave Cowens area is duplicated by the Southbank Shuttle," Douthat explained. "Most people traveling in that area use the Shuttle. There are very few people making the trip (today) from Bellevue/Dayton to the Dave Cowens area."
 
"The public feedback that we got at the meeting and through our survey was pretty divided," Douthat said. "As with any decision we make, we had to look at all of the factors and make the best decision for the majority."
 
Route 23 will discontinue service and the new Route 12 will take effect November 1.
 
Written by Pat LaFleur, RCN contributor
 
Photo via TANK