‘River Run’ eases access to jobs

This weekend, life is about to get a little easier, more enjoyable, safer and cheaper for Northern Kentucky University students.

The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky will begin an express bus service from NKU to specific areas of Newport and Covington on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The service begins at 6 p.m. with buses leaving NKU every 35 minutes. The last bus will return at approximately 2:20 a.m.

The new service, named TANK/NKU River Run, will cost the same as a regular bus ride; $1 each way. As a special promotion, SGA will provide free service for the first weekend.

“It’s a project SGA has been working on for over a year,” said Katie Herschede, SGA president. “It will cover work, play and safety.”

According to TANK spokesperson Gina Douthat, TANK received a $100,000 federal grant as part of a program to help people get access to jobs. The new service will allow students who live on campus to more easily and cheaply access jobs in Newport and Covington. The bus will pick up passengers at the stop across from Norse Commons and take them to stops by Newport on the Levee, Cicero’s, Riverboat Row, Covington’s Fifth Street between Bakewell and Philadelphia, Mainstrasse, The Waterfront, Covington Landing and Park Place.The service is available to anyone, including commuter students as well as people who live in the community.

“We would love to have people do a park and ride type of thing,” said Herschede. “We have plenty of parking in that area.”

Although the service was proposed to help students access jobs, it can be used for any reason. Herschede sees it as a safe way for students to to enjoy the night life in Newport and Covington.

“We’re hoping that students are responsible and take this and know that this is a way to safely get back and forth,” said Herschede. “It’s a built in designated driver, but it’s not something to be abused.”

Herschede said public intoxication will not be tolerated on the bus, and TANK will call the police if any problems arise.

At this point, no special promotions are being offered by the businesses, but Douthat thinks that will happen eventually. The businesses usually want to see the benefits before they commit to the promotions Douthat said.

Regardless of the promotions, Herschede is happy to provide students living on campus who do not have transportation the opportunity to access the larger community.The SGA Express, a similar bus service that shuttles students to local businesses such as Kroger and Bw-3 has proved to be a success and Herschede hopes TANK/NKU River Run will be just as successful. “Both SGA Express and TANK/NKU River Run are an awesome way to be able to do anything you want,” Herschede said.