As a result of ridership declines since 2013, as well as questions from its three-county Authority Board about its overall service efficacy, the Transportation Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) brought in Tindale Oliver to conduct a transit network study. Completed in 2020, the study laid out an implementation plan for a new and improved route network and service structure that better fits current revenue streams, is more sustainable over time, and improves mobility options via TANK such that ridership levels would increase.
Significant transit planning experience that achieves documented results – Since 1999, Tindale Oliver’s transit experts have successfully completed more than 90 transit plans and 30 operational analyses/network redesigns for agencies throughout the U.S. that have resulted in beneficial outcomes.
Transit planning efforts infused with a practical balance of operations and visioning – Our transit experts have worked with communities and agencies in 24 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia on numerous public transportation planning efforts—projects that have helped expand our insights, skills, and expertise so we can best integrate desired future visions for transit with the practical operational considerations of today.
Proven ability to effectively function as an extension of staff – Our transit experts understand the nature and environment of transit agencies and other related transportation planning, research, and operational organizations—having previously held positions in such organizations, they can understand and solve problems, knowing that the best solutions are those developed collaboratively with each project’s agency partners.
Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties are among the fastest-growing economies in Kentucky, with low unemployment rates and a growing airport (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, CVG) attracting industries.
Better connections within the service area were needed, especially to CVG and the growing industrial complex around it in northeast Boone County, including Amazon’s Prime Air cargo hub and DHL’s North America hub.
Analysis showed that TANK needed to make service more attractive by improving access and travel time to bolster demand and help tackle regional growth and mobility demand.
Since 2013, ridership declined 9.7%, but demand-response trips increased 5.6%
TANK’s route/service structure was predicated primarily on accommodating peak-hour, peak-direction commuter travel between the Northern Kentucky service area and Cincinnati, with almost half of the routes operating as express service.
Routes lacked identity, and the TANK network was too spread out.
Plan focuses on a simplified radial network and reduced route redundancy.
Restructured network includes four main service types – Frequent, Neighborhood, Jobs Express, and Commuter, which operate every 15–60 minutes.
Additional hubs recommended for improved connections identified throughout service area to minimize need to go to Covington or Cincinnati for transfers.
TANK staff received 546 public comments/letters regarding the proposed redesigned network, which were categorized by route and used to refine the final network.
Other recommendations provided involve technology, Mobility on Demand, bus stop spacing and infrastructure, ADA service coverage, and fare structure (used by TANK to simplify fares by reducing 23 fare types to 10).
Key project objectives were achieved, including enhanced efficiency and reliability, increased utilization of TANK services, and improved mobility within the Northern Kentucky region.
The revamped network was rolled out in late January 2021, resulting in a 20% increase in ridership.