Southbank Partners, Inc. is a community and economic development organization that coordinates activity with the cities that lie along Northern Kentucky's bank of the Ohio River. Our purpose is to help the cities in any way we can, but especially through promoting and coordinating development activities, fostering teamwork and collaboration, and providing a unified voice for the partner cities in advocating common positions to state and federal governments, as well as to other communities.
Recognizable accomplishments of Southbank Partners through the years include the creation of the Southbank Shuttle, the Purple People Bridge, and Developers Day. The Southbank Shuttle is a bus that runs every fifteen minutes and connects the cities of Covington, Newport, Bellevue, and Cincinnati. This system was originally conceived, owned and operated by Southbank. However, as it grew in popularity it was taken over by the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and became part of the regional transit network. It is now one of the most heavily utilized routes in the system and is a key part of our urban transportation network.
The Purple People Bridge was also conceived and developed by Southbank. The L&N Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati was being considered for demolition. The leaders of Southbank saw an opportunity to create a pedestrian link between Kentucky and Ohio, which is now an extremely popular and heavily used pedestrian connection that is an important part of our urban core. In 2007, Southbank introduced an event that has become quite successful. During the summer, Developers Day brings over 200 developers, investors, and related professionals to Northern Kentucky's riverfront to see first-hand the growth and additional opportunity for development in each of the Southbank partner cities. In addition to these visible activities, we work behind the scenes with our cities to promote teamwork and plan for the future.
Southbank Partners, Inc. is a 501-c-3 organization with a 5-member Board of Directors. A president and executive assistant coordinate day-to-day operations. However, the real work is done by the volunteers that believe in the mission of the organization. The city managers and administrators meet regularly to work on joint projects. Two special committees are The Partners, made up of longtime supporters of the organization, along with committee chairs, and the River Cities Government Coalition (RCGC) made up of the Mayor and one other elected official from each of the six partner cities. In addition, there are committees that focus on transportation, communication, and riverfront development.
During the past 12 years, Southbank Partners has been an important factor in the successful riverfront development in all of our partner cities. The next 12 years promise to be equally exciting.