COVINGTON, Ky. — City leaders want to make sure residents know about the upcoming changes to Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky routes so none of them miss the bus. Literally.
Routes will be be changed or eliminated to save money and keep public transportation running efficiently, but some community members said they're afraid those who use the bus the most might get left behind.
The Rev. Richard Fowler of the Ninth Street Baptist Church has seen a lot of changes in his area of the city. He said he's afraid changes to the bus routes could mean fewer people in the church's pews.
"It's something we're praying about through our prayer services that we have midweek, and we're sharing it with other churches to pray about as well," Fowler said.
In the proposed updated busing plan, all bus stops in the Eastside, Austinburg and Helentown neighborhoods would be eliminated, meaning residents hoping to catch the bus in those areas would have to walk to Madison Avenue.
"Eastern Avenue is six blocks away from Madison," Fowler said. "That's a big difference from catching the bus in front of your house."
Some of the more impactful route cancellations include:
- Elimination of service to Covington's largest employer, Fidelity Investments.
- A destination of NKU or CVG airport would mean taking a connector route or a shuttle into Cincinnati then a transfer.
- Service to St. Elizabeth in Edgewood would require a transfer.
- The route between Independence and Covington would be severed.
"All those other locations not having bus transportation now will affect a host of other people that's going to affect business," Fowler said. "Restaurants. Retail."
TANK held four public presentations about the new routes this month, but Fowler said word didn't reach some of the people who will be affected.
"It's a burden for us," Fowler said. "To think the communication method isn't reaching the community. Persons who don't have computers aren't getting the word."
Fowler said he hopes people looking to add their input into the new routes will call or email TANK by the end of the month.
"The 31st (of January) is apparently the cutoff date," Fowler said. "I don't know what's going to happen after the 31st."
Members of the public who want to add their input can email their opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 31.
They can also fill out and turn in this form, which TANK officials distributed at a recent public meeting, or pick up a response form on a bus.
The forms need to be mailed by Jan. 28 to Frank Busofsky at TANK, 3375 Madison Pike, Fort Wright, KY 41017.