COVINGTON, Ky. - Folks who ride the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) may have to stand at bus stops that normally have benches.
The city of Covington passed an ordinance that claims bench sign advertising is unsightly. The federal 6th Circuit Court ordered the Bench Billboard Company (BBC) to remove its 30 benches by Sept. 28. The company filed an appeal stating its freedom of speech (First Amendment) and due process (14th Amendment) rights were being violated.
The company's attorney, Eric Holzapfel, said this is really a situation that should be handled between the company and TANK.
"When the transit company decides to locate a bus-stop, they pick the spot on the sidewalk they put a shelter there or have someone else put a shelter there they put ads on the shelter," said Holzapfel. "They sell the ads and they don't always put benches. Benches are expensive."
The BBC has 30 benches made of concrete and treated wood that are placed around Covington. A spokesperson for TANK said that they have not discussed what would happen if the benches are moved. However, the transportation provider does have iron benches placed at numerous locations of its 1,400 stops.
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