NORTHERN KENTUCKY TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

In 1972, the publicly owned Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) acquired the privately owned Cincinnati Newport & Covington Transportation Co. This page lists TANK routes which can trace their histories back to the privately owned transit companies. Some routes were eventually discontinued by TANK. Other routes were restructured going into the 21st Century, and are identified using the more recent numbers and names. And since its formation TANK added some new bus routes, which are not listed.

Discontinued and renumbered routes are in parentheses. Discontinued routes are indicated by "disc."

With many routes, competing bus service was introduced by various independent companies. But between 1937 and 1940, those companies were all acquired by Cincinnati Newport & Covington Railway, eliminating the competition.

Route numbers were adopted in 1921, when the Dixie Terminal was opened in Cincinnati. Two streetcar routes listed were discontinued prior to 1921, and have no listed route numbers.



Route   Route Name                 First      First    Streetcars    Notes
Number  (Segment/                  Electric   Buses/   Discontinued
        Former Route Name)         Streetcar  Company  To Buses

     Scott                          HC none                        disc. 1893
     Patterson                         1895                        disc.  6/  /17
  1  Florence (Ft. Mitchell)           1922 DTC
 (2) Greenup                           1893               3/30/46  disc. 1950's
  3  Ludlow                         HC 1893   1927 LT    11/ 5/39  TB until  3/17/58
 (4) Main St.-Park Hills            HC 1890               1/ 3/48  disc.  1/ 6/2007
  5  Holman                            1896   1929 CT     1/ 3/48
  5  (Highland)                               1930 KMC
 (6) Madison                        HC 1890   1930 CBL    7/11/37  TB until  3/17/58
 (6) Rosedale (later route 7)          1893   1925 Ross   7/11/37  TB until  3/17/58
  7  Latonia                           1893   1925 Ross   7/11/37  TB until 12/  /54
  8  Eastern Avenue                 HC 1894               3/30/46
 (9) Belt Line (later route 17)        1897   1930 MBL    2/26/39  disc.  2/26/39
(10) Lewisburg (later route 1)      12/20/02  1925 DTC    7/ 3/50  disc. 10/16/64
 11  Ft. Thomas                        1893   1929 DTC    8/23/47
 12  Dayton                         HC 1893   1922 NKT    4/28/40
(13) S. Bellevue (later route 23)   11/24/04  1922 NKT    4/29/37  disc.  6/10/54
(14) York (later route 24)          HC 1893              1940      disc.  7/ 6/53
(15) Southgate (later route 24)        1894   1929 DTC    5/24/36  disc. 1976
(16) Washington (later route 11)    HC 1895   1930 BDS    8/23/47  disc.  6/10/54
(17) Crosstown                      HC 1892   1930 MBL   10/17/34  disc. 1972
 17X Villa Hills Express                      1937 CSB
(18) East Newport                          5/31/36 CN&C            disc.  6/  /63
(19) West Newport (later route 20)         5/31/36 CN&C
(20) South Newport                         5/31/36 CN&C            disc. 2017
(21) N. Ft. Thomas (later route 11)         1929   DTC             disc. 1980's
(22) Fairfield                            12/ 8/47 CN&C            disc.  7/ 6/53
(23) South Bellevue                        4/39/37 CN&C            disc.
(24) Cold Spring                            1911   Cold            disc. 2003
 25  Alexandria                             1938   ABC


HORSE CAR ROUTES

HC indicates routes operated by horse car, prior to the adoption of electric streetcar service. Date indicates introduction of electric streetcar service.

TB indicates trolleybus routes.

COMPETING BUS COMPANIES

During the 1920's and 1930's, new bus companies were formed, which created bus routes which competed with most of the streetcar routes, abbreviated as follows:

ABC - Alexandria Bus Co.
CN&C - Cincinnati Newport & Covington Railway
BDS - Black Diamond Stages
CBL - Citizens Bus Line
Cold - Cold Spring Bus Co.
CSB - Crescent Springs Bus Co.
CT - Central Transit Co.
DTC - Dixie Traction Co.
KMC - Kentucky Motor Coach Co.
LT - Ludlow Transit Lines
MBL - Merchants Bus Line
NKT - Northern Kentucky Transit Co.
Ross - Ross Motor Coaches

The Cold Spring Bus Co. was formed in 1931, acquiring two operations which since 1910 had operated bus service using modified trucks.The Cold Spring Bus Co. also owned the Alexandria Bus Co.

In 1925, People's Transit Co. began competing with Northern Kentucky Transit along the Dayton route. And in 1930, People's Transit acquired Northern Kentucky Transit.

Lloyd Ross of Ross Motor Coaches also owned Central Transit, as a separate company. In 1935, Lloyd Ross acquired People's Transit and merged it with Central Transit, forming People's Central Transit Lines, still keeping it as a separate company.

Kathryn Ross (no relation) owned Citizens Bus Line and Merchants Bus Line. In 1935, those lines were combined into Citizens-Merchants Bus Lines. At the same time, Kathryn Ross formed a partnership with Ben Perry, owner of Kentucky Motor Coach Co., although keeping them as separate companies.

In 1937, after a devastating flood in the area, Cincinnati Newport & Covington Railway acquired the two Lloyd Ross companies, the two Kathryn Ross companies, and Ludlow Transit Lines. All competing bus lines were discontinued, while the acquired buses were used to temporarily substitute for the damaged streetcar system. The Kentucky Motor Coach route via Highland was retained, as the only acquired route not competing with a streetcar route.

In 1940, Cincinnati Newport & Covington Railway acquired Dixie Traction Co., Black Diamond Stages, and Cold Spring Bus Co., basically completing consolidation of the area transit system.

Not competing with the streetcars, but connecting with route 1, was the Crescent Springs Bus Co. That company started operating after World War II, after the failure of High Line Buses, which had began operating in 1937.


Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site