First/Last Mile Innovative Technology Pilot Projects

Project Information

Facility: TBD

Location: Various Facilities in Boone County

Project Type: Transit

Priority Level: Tier 1

Project Description:

  • Collaborate with regional partners to establish innovative public/private pilot projects using Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV), ridesharing, carsharing, alternative fuels, Smart device Apps, or other transportation technology advancements to provide vital “first/last mile” connections.
  • Learn from and work together with public and private stakeholders in government, business, and academia to pool available resources and leverage emerging technologies and policies.
  • Establish a phased approach with agreed upon planning standards between local, county, state, and regional planning organizations to ensure scalability and interoperability of technologies and multi-modal transportation solutions. This includes Boone County working with the Kentucky Legislature to establish an approach permitting the safe testing and public use of automated vehicles on public roadways.
  • Build systematic, network-wide connectivity and accessibility of new transportation technologies transportation technologies and services to enable connected and automated mobility corridors.
  • Launch a CAV, ridesharing or other advanced technology pilot test with public/private partners to create a testbed environment to deploy, assess, and scale innovative transportation solutions.
  • Begin the pilot project potentially as a shuttle within a controlled environment and include future for connected roadways to support passengers and cargo at scale. A likely location for a first pilot project in Boone County is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) with connections to nearby distribution and logistics hubs in Hebron and Florence.
  • Consider connected, innovative public transit solutions to foster a fluid and linked transportation system incorporating all modes and people in a seamless fashion, enabling truly complete or point-to-point trips.
  • Apply Smart infrastructure, Big Data, and relevant analytics for signal prioritizations, dynamic transit routing, on demand public transit and shuttles, real-time vehicle and asset tracking, roadway and infrastructure resilience, project and procurement simplification, etc.

Cost Estimate:

  • Boone County’s collaboration with regional partners is proposed to be conducted within existing administrative budgets at no additional cost.
  • When innovative public/private pilot projects using transportation technology advancements arise, Boone County will work with regional partners to identify potential public and/or private funding sources for project implementation.


  • Puts Boone County on the map as an innovator and leader in new mobility options and transportation system designs of the future
  • Builds a world class public transportation system that is seamlessly integrated with other modes of transportation (transit, bicycle-sharing, walking, on-demand ridesharing) reducing door-to-door travel times and cost.
  • Improves quality of life of those most in need, not just economically disadvantaged but also elderly and physically challenged making Boone County a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.
  • Improves transit access, thereby reducing Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) travel, congestion, travel time, emissions and traffic injuries/fatalities (pedestrians, bikers, and drivers).
  • Provides a highly efficient and flexible transit service using appropriately-sized vehicles that operate where and when they are needed, thereby maximizing public and private transportation investments.
  • Increases Boone County employers’ ability to attract and retain employees by widening the regional pool of potential workforce candidates through increased accessibility.
  • Spurs social mobility and economic development around smart and connected technologies (new jobs, new access, better opportunities, equity, and more business growth) impacting rural, suburban, and urban areas.
  • Broadens access to basic internet connectivity for Boone County residents and businesses.
  • Launches local, regional, state and national data exchanges.
  • Assists strained public agency budgets with technology-enabled versus capital-intensive solutions.
  • Improves public agencies to provide service to constituents with advanced digital service delivery, tracking and management of transportation planning and transit as well as other city services and utilities.


  • Securing public funding for new, non-traditional transportation solutions.
  • Establishing collaborations and identifying solutions with private companies that result in direct public benefits is a new, unknown area for most public agencies.
  • Autonomous vehicles and advanced technologies beyond our current understanding are coming. The only question is when. This new world is a mysterious and foreign area for both public and private sectors. Clear answers on many things are not currently available. Time, patience and learning on all sides will be required.
  • Ensuring affordable travel. One of the huge hurdles for on-demand travel service is the cost per passenger in comparison to fixed-route bus service. Current private ridesharing companies do not make money under their current fare structure.
  • Moving towards Shared Mobility travel options and away from vehicle ownership to reduce SOV and result in less vehicles on the road requires is not an easy or overnight transition for Americans to embrace.

Existing Conditions


  • Existing and future data identifies areas throughout Boone County experiencing congestion-related concerns and travel time delay due to high use of Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) travel.
  • Continued Boone County commercial, industrial and residential will continue to add traffic throughout the day upon roadways.


  • Existing and future data identifies areas throughout Boone County experiencing higher than average crash rates involving drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Land Use/Socio-Economic/Environmental:

  • Boone County population growth is projected to increase to almost a quarter of a million people by 2040 which is highest in the OKI region and Commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • In addition to growing, population in Boone County is aging and needs of travelers are shifting with current trends emphasizing the need for alternative forms of transportation and demand for more personal choice in mobility.
  • Boone County leads the region and state in employment growth with an additional 20,000 or more new employees projected by 2040.
  • Hebron, CVG, KY 536 (Mt Zion Road) and KY 338 (Richwood Road) are the areas most impacted by this growth in employment. These areas are home to major companies that serve as significant traffic generators employing hundreds of people who reside across the entire OKI region.
  • Workforce availability and accessibility has been acknowledged at the local, county, regional and state level as a critical issue facing continued economic growth and vitality.


  • TANK currently operates nine express routes, one local route, seven Park & Ride lots, and one transit hub in Boone County. However, sidewalks or multi-use paths are often not available for transit riders to use in reaching their “last mile” destinations.
  • Many Boone County jobs are tied to supply logistics, distribution and manufacturing-sector companies which operate on multiple shift schedules. Multiple shifts result in employee travel during off-peak, early morning and late night times when transit service is limited or unavailable.
  • Several public comments received during the development of the Boone County Transportation Plan voiced their appreciation for existing transit and support for expanding transit as a means of addressing Boone County traffic.