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TANK service plan proposals

Surprise! TANK has prepared a lucid, well thought out and even decently mapped explanation of what exactly they might like to do with their routes in the future.

TANK service plan map

Provided by TANK

The description is even all tangled up with a survey to get your thoughts on the plan right as you’re having them! Go take it!

I’ve got a few of my own relatively minor critiques of the plan but I think by and large this is all very sensible and will constitute an overall improvement. Really, I just see a couple missed opportunities like the Southbank Shuttle alignment and the lack of consideration given to possible short Covington-to-Newport-and-back trips that would need higher (combined) frequencies to make them work. I’m particularly excited by the idea of a high-frequency(every 15 mins) corridor between Downtown Cincinnati and Latonia.

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Posted in: Plans
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TANK plans route changes

Add yet another thing to the giant list of transit things I need to find the time to pick through: TANK has just released a brief description of proposed route changes that could take effect soon. They’re conducting public meetings today through Sept 21st to inform people about the suggested changes and solicit feedback. Normally, and I am permitted to say this only as a planner who’s not currently employed as a planner, such meetings are a principled show of democracy without much practical usefulness. Basically, people don’t like change and the people who don’t like these changes will show up to voice their complaints. The planners if they’re any good will have expected this and already will have built most of the expected participants’ concerns into the plan before they announced it. Thus, actually hearing the complaints that they expected doesn’t change much, nor should it.

You, gentle readers, being the type of people who are clever enough and patient enough to follow along with my meandering buses of thought, may actually be able to positively effect the plans if indeed you can spot something they can do better and articulate an objective case for it to the people in charge. I therefore encourage you to attend one of the meetings listed through the links above.

One quick suggestion for both agencies: Drop the phrase “short-term” when you’re describing permanent service changes. We know the routes aren’t necessarily set in stone after these changes take effect. Is anything (metaphorically) set in stone really? We all die after all. These changes are as permanent as anything gets and that should be made clear so that people don’t think you’re doing less than you are.

Many more suggestions coming eventually once I get chance to think holistically :-)

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Posted in: Events
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Finding the center

Interesting topic in Spatial Statistics 1 today: Just where exactly is the ‘center’ of something? There are a dozen different ways to pick one from a multivariate dataset. I thought I’d toy around with weighted averages to see if I had the concept figured out before I tackled the weekend’s homework. Here’s the approximate center of the transit system(s), weighted for trip origins and destinations as of the most recent data I have.

SORTA-and-TANK-ridership-weighted-centroids

Pro-tip for cartographers: When your data is simple, throw in gratuitously pretty and engrossing things like elevation and hillshades as points of reference.

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Posted in: Maps | Math
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Advertising: TANK is doing it right

I was in the airport last night on a late flight from DC and behold: What do I see greeting me unavoidably on my way down the escalator toward baggage claim? A giant sign telling me I can take transit to downtown for only $2.00.

It changed to another advertisement before I could calm my trembling heart and reach for the camera phone but I hung around for another minute and caught a picture of this:

southbank shuttle airport advertisement

A few steps further found me walking below this sign:

public transit ahead

And to my right, a kiosk toward which I quickly scampered

TANK transit kiosk at the airport

The kiosk is basically a big fancy machine that shows you a PDF of the 2X schedule. Normally I don’t approve of such complicated things, favouring instead a simple rack of paper schedules, but I have to say that this thing was really attractive, easy to use, and perfectly informative.

2x schedule kiosk

It gave you the times, the prices, the route map; it gave you everything you would need to just go outside and take transit right now.

That is perfectly informative.

That is perfectly informative.

But where exactly, you might ask, should you “just go outside?” Can it be that easy? Boom! The stop is right out that door.  Go. Now. Just do it. You’re so close!

CVG transit to downtown sign

This applause might sound pretty obvious, but many of the most important routes in the city lack this sort of pointed, direct, this-is-what-transit-does kind of advertising. I’d like to see more of this, particularly for routes that aren’t aimed narrowly at tourists(which is to say: almost all of them).

TANK wins 3 points for clear and effective communication and pulls into the lead.

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Posted in: Ads | Simplicity
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Tank hits the runway

Tank t-shirts are back from the printer! You can now show off your gloriously geeky affinity for transit and/or Northern Kentucky right there between your nipples. Shirts are available in the shop for $15 + $5 shipping in both grey and brown. Most orders should arrive in just a couple days if you’re in the Cincinnati area.

TANK tank t-shirt

Also, my apologies the slow posting here lately. Most of you probably aren’t aware of this, but I moonlight as a fashion designer and had been working furiously over the last week or so prepping for a fashion show and working on some unrelated clothing commissions.

TANK t-shirt in the Northside fashion show 2013

My thanks to Erick and the others for modeling!

We’ll be fully back on track soon with the next post where I’ll be trying to piece together SORTA’s upcoming service changes. That’s still a few days in the making though and in the meantime I encourage anyone who’s available to take in a presentation on the changes from SORTA themselves. From their site:

The public meeting on Metro’s proposed short-term plan changes will be held on May 1, 2013, in South Meeting Room 232 of the Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH.

The public may attend anytime between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to give comments about the proposed changes.

Presentations will be offered every hour on the hour.…yadda, yadda, etc.

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Posted in: Design | Silly Bullshit
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TANK Survey

The world keeps on spinning and I’m about a month late to this news:

TANK is updating it’s development plans and it has a great survey out to solicit input on the direction they should take. Unlike most surveys from public orgs where you kind of feel like you’re voting for your favourite singer on American Idol, this one actually has some good questions that make you think about real choices the agency has to face.

Take a few minutes to fill it out! Even if you don’t live in Kentucky…well, there’s still stuff over there you might eventually want to visit. Do it!

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Posted in: Plans
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