Transit Action Network (TAN)

Advocates for Improved and Expanded Transit in the Kansas City Region.

Posts Tagged ‘Independence’

2014: Transit in the Kansas City Region – What happened?

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 2, 2015


2014 was a busy transit year and it is fun to look back to see some of the main stories and think about the future. Links to some of our related posts are included. If you want to get actively involved in on-going transit issues, contact us at TransActionKC@gmail.com or attend our first meeting of 2015 at Noon on January 9th at the KC Central Library at 10th and Baltimore.

1. The Downtown Streetcar

The Downtown Streetcar construction got underway in May and is about one-third complete at year end. Check out KCStreetcar.com for updates. streetcar

Tom Gerend, previously the Assistant Director of Transportation at MARC, was named the Executive Director for the Streetcar Authority.

Please support the businesses along the route. Lunch Mobs are being organized to help these businesses. Check out @kcstreetcar @tacticalurbankc

2. The Streetcar expansion

Kansas City’s August election for three streetcar expansion routes (Independence Avenue, Linwood and Main Street) would have added an additional 7.6 miles to the Downtown Streetcar for a total of 9.8 miles. The Prospect MAX recommendation was 9.1 miles long. Streetcar Steering Committee Releases Recommendations and Draft Report   The proposal lost 60%-40%.  Video – KC Streetcar Expansion Election Watch and Mayor’s Speech

Next_RailRead the final Next Rail report if you aren’t familiar with the Main Street expansion to the Plaza. If the city comes up with a good funding plan, the expansion to the Plaza may be seen again in a couple of years. Next Rail final expansion recommendation

3. KCMO continues to withhold $2.5 million from KCATAKCATA_2014-2015_KCMO_budget

Although the Kansas City budgeted 95% of the revenue from the ½ cent Transportation Sales Tax to KCATA based on an ordinance TAN initiated in 2010 (it was updated in 2013), the city is withholding $2.5 million from KCATA and causing KCATA’s reserve account to deplete even faster, which is ironic since the city says it is concerned that the KCATA reserve account will deplete itself before 2022; currently estimated to run out in 2018. The city is over $5 million short in its payments to KCAT̄A this year caused by the combination of insufficient sales tax revenue and the additional amount being withheld. KCATA expects the city to short them $5.4 million in 2015.

TAN hopes KCMO pays its bills to the best of its ability by the end of this fiscal year, April 30, 2015. The city administrator is holding the money in case he decides to start out-sourcing part of the bus system to save money. More in 2015.

4. KCATAKCATA

KCATA is working on a comprehensive service analysis to re-design transit downtown.  Attend Public Meetings – Redesigning Downtown KC Transit – July 17 and Downtown Service Improvement Concept 

Map Of Downtown Concept

Map Of Downtown Concept

KCATA continued it re-organization A New Vision for KCATA  and KCATA General Manager Mark E. Huffer Resigns   KCATA is currently looking to fill a new CEO position.

The year ended with KCATA Board of Commissioners re-electing Robbie Makinen for another year as Chair since the reorganization for KCATA isn’t finished and Makinen is doing such a great job pushing the agenda forward. Congratulations! Robbie Makinen Elected KCATA Chair Again 

5. TAN RADIO

Transit Action Network started a semi-regular “Transit Talk” show on 90.1 FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio on the Radio Active Magazine show. This magazine show has numerous activist groups taking turns to inform the community on various issues. TAN Radio archive of previous shows  Interviews covered conversion to CNG buses, a MAX line for Prospect Ave, the KC Streetcar/MAX election ballot, the MO Amendment 7 election, Special Transportation issues, our inability to pay for most rail projects (like rail to the airport), and a talk with Robbie Makinen about changes at KCATA.

KKFI operates a 100,000-watt transmitter, the most powerful allowed by FCC regulations.

KKFI operates a 100,000-watt transmitter, the most powerful allowed by FCC regulations.

The next show is Jan 6 at 6pm on 90.1 FM KKFI – Your Civil Rights Related To Transit – What are they and how to protect them!

6. Sense or Nonsense –New TAN series

Sense or Nonsense? Streetcars and Increased Property Values Sense or Nonsense? Does rail increase property values? MAKES SENSE

 Sense or Nonsense? Streetcars and Development  Only light rail systems generate development. NOT SO.

 7. New TAXI style services in KCMO

The KCMO city council started the year by changing the taxi ordinance to allow Independent Transportation Network® (ITN), a non-profit charitable organization to operate a vehicle for hire to transport persons who are 65 years of age or older or visually impaired. Action Alert: KCMO – Please Allow A New Transit Service For The Elderly and Visually Impaired 

Uber and Lyft, App driven ride-sharing services, arrived in KC. Uber received a license to operate, but Lfyt is having legal problems.

REGIONAL TRANSIT ISSUES

It is important to remember that we need better transit throughout the whole region.

A. Regional Transit Coordinating Council (RTCC)Transit_Coordinating_Council-2

  1. The RTCC decided to tackle tough issues: RTCC Tackles Big Transit Issues – Funding and Paratransit 

RTCC requested and received more money for transit projects from allocations of federal money (STP and CMAQ) than has ever been granted, including $10 million allocated for Jackson County purchasing the old Rock Island line and two additional railway spurs from Union Pacific.

  1. There are two groups to advise RTCC: Transit Stakeholder Forum (TSF) and the Mobility Advisory Committee (MAC).Transit_Stakeholder_Fourm-2

The TSF is totally open to the public, vague, and doesn’t have members or regular meetings.

We understand that allowing everyone to participate is a new concept at MARC and KCATA, but we think this one needs more work. The forum is very top down and is doesn’t meet regularly like MAC, which meets every other month.

  • Why wasn’t TSF asked for input on the RTCC 2015 workplan? It got to comment on the 2014 plan.
  • When transit projects were developed and prioritized by RTCC for STP and CMAQ funding, the TSF didn’t even get to look at them. (MAC got to prioritize $6 million in funding requests and actually function like an advisory committee-see below)
  • Why isn’t there time for riders to address their issues with the transit agencies?
  • When will TSF function more like a substantive advisory committee?Mobility_AC

MAC, on the other hand, has had only had two meetings, but they are developing a very large membership with voting rights, and they have already recommended a multi-million dollar list of projects to RTCC for allocating 5310 federal funds for paratransit/senior capital and operating money. True, MAC is basically reconvened from the old Special Transportation/JARC Committee at MARC, so they are bringing in the same people as before and expanding.

Mobility Advisory Committee Meets Dec 10

  1. RTCC is leading a regional branding effort that will be rolled out in 2015: RideKC.

B. Seamless Transit Advocacy

Transit Action Network believes the transit system should function in a seamless fashion so that it appears to be run by one agency. We are pleased that the seamless transit concept continues to gain steam. Besides our list of specific seamless transit suggestions Seamless Transit In the Kansas City Region, we advocate for the election of transit friendly public officials and encourage municipalities to return to KCATA for management or management/ operations, which provides the best opportunity for eliminating barriers between the transit systems (The barriers aren’t due to the jurisdictional BORDERS; the problems are caused by operational and infrastructure differences between the transit agencies)

  1. Johnson County

JoCo was in the spotlight at the end of the year with a big county election and a decision to return transit management of The JO and Special Edition to KCATA after 30 years.Johnson County

Online Transit Forum – Candidates for Johnson County Commission 

Big Win for Seamless Transit – The JO Returns to KCATA 

  1. Wyandotte County and Independence

UG logoDuring the year TAN met with Mayor Weir of Independence, Mayor Holland of Unified Government of Wyandotte County and several UG commissioners. Although we advocated for a wide range of transit issues, including better seamless transit, our main thrust was to encourage both entities to bring the rest of their transit service under the management or management/operations of the re-organized KCATA, like Johnson County recently decided. We hear rumblings that this process might start.inde log

  1. Jackson County

Jackson County reached an agreement with Union Pacific for an “option to purchase” the Rock Island right of way plus two spurs for $59.9 million. Jackson County Option to Purchase press release. The agreement has been extended to Sept 2015. Although the County has received $10 million from a federal grant (see RTCC), the County still needs another $50 million for the purchase and that money isn’t easy to come by.

Jackson_County_seal-2This corridor will make a great addition to the Katy Trail, but it showed extremely low ridership for commuter rail in the Jackson County Alternatives Analysis. Ridership between 500 and 1000 trips per day were projected and the line would not qualify for FTA New Starts money at this point. (The Prospect bus has over 6,000 trips daily and it isn’t even a MAX line.)

During 2014 TAN made presentations on financing alternatives for commuter rail and the purchase of the Rock Island property to Jackson County officials. Discussions are continuing.

  1. Unified Government New Transit Route #105 and Bigger Buses to #101

Mayor Holland promised TAN to provide bigger buses to alleviate crowding once the #101 became the new CONNEX service. The improved service went into effect in January 2014. State Ave. CONNEX Gets Big Buses Jan 5

Erin, Carol, Carroll and Rachel conducting the Rosedale Transit Survey

Erin, Carol, Carroll and Rachel conducting the Rosedale Transit Survey

The Rosedale Development Association and the KCK community, along with TAN, secured the new Rosedale Route #105. Event: Opening of 105-Rosedale Route June 30 

  1. C. Environmental Justice Analysis and Tiger Grant

TAN has been in discussions with MARC staff about changes to their Environmental Justice Analysis, which studies how federal transportation money is spent in the region relative to minorities and low-income populations.

The Brookings Institution found that only 18 percent of jobs in the KC region are reachable via transit in 90 minutes or less — ranking the Kansas City region 90th of the 100 largest metros. From a civil rights perspective, we may not be meeting the needs of minorities and low-income populations to get to work by transit. With such a low rate, we  probably aren’t meeting the transit needs of the whole community. Meeting the needs of minorities and low-income populations should be included upfront in any assessment for transportation planning.

MARC received a $1.2 million TIGER planning grant to STUDY the situation. The goal of KC Workforce Connex is doubling transit access to jobs over the next 10 years. A major study area will be along the I-435 corridor between the new Cerner campus and I-35 in Johnson County, which includes the busiest commuter corridor in the region, yet doesn’t have any transit.

D. MO Sales Tax For Transportation Failed

Transit Action Network believes Missouri shouldn’t pass a constitutional amendment to radically change the way we pay for roads and bridgesVotenoon 7 billboard

We spent several months working against this ballot initiative of a 3/4-cent sales tax for transportation, so we were pleased when it failed in August.

Video, Podcasts, Cartoon – VOTE NO On MO Amendment 7 

However, the funding issue for roads isn’t resolved. Raising the gas/diesel taxes is the easiest and cheapest method to administer and probably the smartest option, but Governor Nixon has asked for a study to investigate tolling on I-70. That starts 2015.

Happy New Year and join us in advocating for better transit in our region.

 

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Rail, Regional Transit Issue, Seamless Transit | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Be Prepared: Snow Removal for Walkers and Rollers

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 5, 2014


Picture from the Easter Seals report

Picture from the Easter Seals report

It is time again to start singing that old familiar refrain, “What about snow removal?” To get everyone tuned up and ready to go, here is a great resource from Easter Seals Project Action (ESPA). It is chock full of best practices from around the country and pertinent regulations to remind us of our responsibilities to those not driving. ES_Snow_Removal_Brief

Easter_Seals

The ability of to conduct your business and your life is as important to walkers and rollers as it is drivers.

“Including pedestrian facilities in snow and ice management policies reflects a community’s commitment to equal access, safety, economic vitality and quality of life.” Roger Millar, Vice President, Smart Growth America

 

 

Posted in Action, Local Transit Issues, Regional Transit Issue | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Independence Revises Its Local Transit Routes – IndeBus

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 29, 2012


Independence changes its local routes effective July 2, 2012. Along with new buses and a new contract operator, First Transit, the routes are changing significantly. Fares will remain the same.

View schedules and maps, and watch a video explaining the system at the IndeBus page on the Independence website.

The shift from KCATA to First Transit for the local routes will cost Independence about $14,000 more than previously, but the city calculates a 30% increase in transit miles and 30% more hours of service by eliminating the current 2-hour break in the middle of the day. Service will run until about 6:00 pm.

First Transit will also operate the local para-transit (IndeAccess), and local senior service (IndeAcess+) transportation services within Independence. These services replace the local Dial-A-Ride service. There is a new photo ID and coupon program for qualified riders. KCATA will continue to provide the Share-A-Fare para-transit service from Independence into Kansas City and Share-A-Fare services will continue to be available in most of Independence.

KCATA will continue to provide inter-city service connecting Independence to Kansas City on routes 24 and 15X (previously the 24X). Check the new Metro schedules.

Beginning July 2nd, all questions for IndeBus, IndeAccess, and IndeAccess+ will be answered by First Transit at 461-IBUS (4287).  For questions related to the 24 and 15x Routes or ShareAFare, riders can continue to call the KCATA Regional Call Center. Independence is currently including transfer information in its local training for the 461-IBUS call center.  First Transit operators should work through alternatives for transfers and trips with riders. Independence is not contracting with the Regional Call Center to provide information about their local buses. The Regional Call Center can answer questions about all the Metro services.

Explaining the route changes and new operator, Independence Director of Community Development Jennifer Clark said, “Independence is responding to rider demand and interests. This is a rider focused model and reflects the best interests of the community.”

Improvements to the system include having a full time employee responsible for the Transit Center at Truman and Noland Roads to make sure it is clean and functioning. In addition, the new local buses will have two wheelchair slots instead of one. Buses all have GPS, and an app from TransLoc will be available for real-time information about buses using a smart phones. Check the city website to download the app in July.

At this point there is a compatibility problem between the Metro and IndeBus fareboxes, but the two system operators are working with the farebox vendor to resolve the problem. The solution may not be in place by July 2nd, in which case riders using both systems will be instructed on how to use a transfer or monthly pass.

For more information watch Clark’s presentation about the new transit system to the Independence City Council on June 25. Her presentation starts at 24:36 minutes into the video and lasts about 17 minutes.

The City Council Transit Committee plans to initiate a public input process. Although it hasn’t been defined yet, it will represent a mix of interests such as riders, residents and businesses, and will report back to the Transit Committee on matters such as efficiency of operations and customer satisfaction. We think this committee is a good idea, and that all transit agencies should have a similar stakeholder committee that meets regularly to provide feedback.

One cloud still hanging over the new service is whether Independence will receive a share of federal funds that come to the Kansas City region through KCATA for its local routes. Currently the cost of the transit service provided to Independence by KCATA is offset by approximately $600,000 annually,  $400,000 of which is allocated for local routes.

Two issues affect this money.

  1. KCATA is in the process of defining a formula to distribute or apply these federal funds throughout the region, and Independence may qualify for less money under the new formula, especially since they are using a private operator.
  2. Section 13c of the Federal Transit Law protects public transportation workers if operations are shifted to a private provider. This law could be used to prevent Independence from receiving this money for the local routes.  Jonothan Walker, president of local 1287 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, has told us the ATU is working on several fronts, including monitoring Independence’s use of these federal funds.  “None of the new service shall receive funding except private. If Independence tries to use it (federal funds) for expansion of lines and for private use, they may find our ATU International legal team involved.” See our previous article for more information Independence Ponders Transit Options (Dec 6, 2011).

Independence was aware of these funding issues before contracting with First Transit, and is monitoring the funding situation.  TAN is concerned that if the federal funding is withheld from Independence, it would have a negative impact on transit service in Independence. We hope that Independence has a plan to deal with that situation if it happens, and that Independence riders are well served by their new local routes.

Posted in Local Transit Issues | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Independence Transit Committee Recommends First Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 22, 2011


In a move characterized as a “new integrated transit system,” the Independence City Council Transit Committee recommended First Transit to operate their intra-city (local) routes beginning Monday, July 2, 2012.  KCATA would continue to operate inter-city routes.  Final action by the full City Council is anticipated in January 2012.

The committee’s recommendation is to:

(1) contract with KCATA to continue certain current services including inter-city and commuter bus routes (Routes 24 and 24x), paratransit service (Share-A-Fare) for inter-city and eligible intra-city trips, grant filings and FTA reporting, and regional transit information center operations

(2) contract with First Transit to provide local fixed route and deviated fixed route service, paratransit service for intra-city trips, and senior transportation service (Dial-A-Ride). First Transit is the contract operator for Johnson County Transit.

Independence says its revised transit plan will provide a 40% increase in service area, 32 additional miles of routes, and a 30 percent increase in hours of operation. Local service will be provided using specially designed new buses, tentatively branded “IndeBus.” Waiting times between buses will increase on some routes due to extending the length of the route without adding additional buses.

Independence expects coordinated scheduling between the two systems to minimize waiting times. Fares will be the same for both systems and Independence expects to work out an agreement with KCATA so there will not be a fare impact on the riders using passes or transfers.

Still unresolved are some funding issues, including how much federal “formula” money Independence will receive as pass-through from the KCATA allocation. Independence will presumably qualify for federal funds related to routes operated by KCATA, but regulations related to employee protections under Section 13(c) of Federal Transit Law could make it difficult or even illegal to use federal formula funds for the Independence local routes (see previous article). This issue — how much federal money will be passed through to Independence — could significantly change the transit funding situation in Independence. Discussions and legal research are ongoing between and among Independence, KCATA, the FTA, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and MARC.

A publicity campaign is planned to start in April, including public meetings, route maps, publication in the Independence newsletter CityScene and information on City 7, the public access cable channel. Bus stop and schedule signs will be replaced and First Transit will work with the businesses in the new service areas for locating stops.

Although its total cost of transit service will rise slightly, Independence expects ridership to increase at least 15% with the increased route coverage. In addition, the City plans to seek grants to supplement money from its General Fund.

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Regional Transit Issue, Seamless Transit | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Independence Ponders Transit Options

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 6, 2011


In August, 2011, Independence issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to operate their local transit routes and local para-transit service, Dial-A-Ride. The local or “intra-city” routes are currently operated by KCATA and are the routes identified by colors as well as numbers. The inter-city routes connecting Independence with Kansas City would continue to be operated by KCATA.

Independence redesigned its local routes to cover more miles and extend service hours. Of course, longer routes without adding more buses means the time between buses increases, which creates longer waiting times for riders.  So service miles and service hours may increase but service level will decrease. Independence also wants to “brand” its buses with a unique Independence design. (Prototype of branded buses from the RFP  Inde Bus)

Several proposals were received, and in October the city staff made a preliminary recommendation to the City Council Transit Committee. They recommended First Transit over KCATA as operator for the local routes.  The Transit Committee recommendation to the full City Council is planned in December because a final decision has to be made by February 1, 2012, in order to implement the desired changes by July 1, 2012.

Transit Action Network understands and appreciates the financial realities Independence faces to maintain transit service for its residents, as well as its right to contract for the most cost-effective transit service. The Independence budget for transit comes out of general revenue. Independence does not have dedicated transit funding like Kansas City, nor do they have taxing authority from the state to even ask for a dedicated transit tax. Their ½ cent transportation sales tax is all used for streets. Like most Eastern Jackson County municipalities, Independence has been waiting for the county to get involved in funding transit.  County transit funding was the original promise of the regional “Smart Moves” transit concept nearly a decade ago.  But county funding hasn’t materialized yet, and general revenue has declined as costs continued to rise, and something had to give. Independence has assured TAN that its goal is to provide the best transit service they can.

Several snags have arisen, however. The biggest one deals with the allocation of federal “formula” funds for transit in this region. As the Congressionally created transit authority for the Kansas City region, KCATA is the federally designated recipient of federal formula funds, and that means KCATA decides how this money is to be allocated around the region. Legally they do not have to allocate any funds to municipalities that don’t contract with them, but historically KCATA has allocated funds to other operators, such as Johnson County Transit, a well as the municipalities that contract with them. The current annual federal formula fund allocation is approximately $15 million, but may decrease based on Congressional action. Independence believes it has a right to a share of this money, even if it goes with a private contractor.

Even if the KCATA Board wants to continue to allocate a share of the federal formula funds to Independence, it may be illegal if they contract with a private operator.  This issue arises because federal transit law has a section that protects transit employees who are affected by federal transit funding. If Independence changes to a private operator there could be a negative impact on public transit workers. Based on the current allocation of money, this law (Section 13(c)) could lose Independence $600,000.  All parties have their lawyers looking into the implications of Section 13(c).

Another big issue is the effect on the para-transit riders in Independence if a different operator gets the contact for the intra-city routes. TAN is concerned that para-transit users wanting to go between Independence and Kansas City would have more transfers and higher costs if KCATA does not operate the intra-city routes. If Independence para-transit riders have to use both the Independence Dial-A-Ride and KCATA Share-A-Fare services for the same trip, the cost would double from $4 for the round trip to $8. Independence City Manager Robert Heacock said that Independence could consider picking up the additional cost for para-transit riders needing to go to KCMO. At an average of 12,000 rides to the city per year, this could amount to an additional cost of $48,000 for the city, but the inconvenience for riders would still be present.

Most important, TAN has significant concerns about the impact another operator could have on all transit riders. Unless Independence gives careful attention to “seamless transit” principles, adding another transit provider could cause complexity, confusion and additional cost for riders, and that would both inhibit ridership and limit access to opportunities throughout the region, while undermining the goal of a truly regional transit system. We have discussed our concerns regarding seamless transit with elected officials including Council member Gragg, Chair of the Transit Committee, and with City staff.

What is “Seamless Transit?”  It’s the term being used in a regional effort to make transit easier to use, thereby building ridership and enabling more people to have access to opportunities throughout the region.  Seamless transit is achieved by meeting basic rider expectations and eliminating the impact of multiple transit operators on the transit experience.

Some of the seamless expectations that TAN has discussed with Independence include:

1.  A uniform fare structure, and transfer and pass reciprocity. Independence has assured TAN that they will use the same fare structure and compatible fareboxes as KCATA so that transfers and monthly passes are accepted on both systems. They have told us they could do an allocation of revenue between the two systems at the end of the month for passes, although the details haven’t been discussed, since an operator hasn’t been chosen.

2.  Good connectivity between the two systems is another concern. TAN has been told schedules will be adjusted to co-ordinate transfer locations and schedule times so inter-system connections can be made effectively.

3.  Currently riders only have to make one phone call to get transit information. They can use Google transit to do online trip planning, and with GPS on all the current buses, real-time information is becoming available via cell phone or mobile device. TAN has asked that these seamless communication features be available to Independence riders if there is a change in operators, but has not been given any reassurances .

To get more details of the planned route changes or read the minutes of the meetings visit the Independence City Council Transit Committee website

Seamless transit issues between JCT and KCATA prompted TAN to get the MARC Transit Committee to form a Seamless Transit Work Group last year. (TAN’s Seamless Transit In the Kansas City Region document) Now many of the same issues will need to be addressed with Independence if it changes operators for its intra-city routes.

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Regional Transit Issue, Seamless Transit | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Open House in Independece July 19 and July 23 -Potential Transit Alternative

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 19, 2011


The Independence City Council Transit Committee is seeking public input on the potential changes to the transit system.

Open House meetings for the Potential Transit System will take place on:

  • Tuesday, July 19, 2011
    • 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Noland Road Baptist Church, 4505 S. Noland Road
    • 5:30 to 7:30 at Hawthorn Place Apts Gymnasium, 16995 Dover Lane
  • Saturday, July 23, 2011
    • 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Palmer Center, 218 A North Pleasant Street

There are no cuts planned to the current service.

The goal is to:

  • Improve Efficiency of Resources
  • Increase Ridership
  • Improve Access to Public Facilities
  • Increase Opportunities to Shop Local
  • Improve Access to Employment

Take the online survey or print the  Potential Transit System survey and mail it. You can listen to a detailed description of the changes on the website.  Independence Open House

Posted in Events, Local Transit Issues | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Jump on The Truman Trolley in Independence for Great Experiences at a Great Price

Posted by Transit Action Network on September 10, 2010


Independence is full of great attractions and historic sites. You can ride the Truman Trolley all day for $1 (unlimited boardings) Monday through Saturday until October 2 (children 5 and under ride free).

Stop at any or all of these attractions:

National Frontier Trails Museum and Chicago and Alton Depot, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and Truman Home, Vaile Victorian Mansion, 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home and Truman Visitors Center, Mormon Visitors Center and ‘Community of Christ Headquarters, Clinton’s Soda Fountain and Independence Square.

If you aren’t in Independence you can get the Trolley from Union Station for either a full day or half-day transit adventure.  Call the day before to make a reservation and the Trolley will pick you up at Union Station, take you to Independence, deliver you around Independence all day and then take you back to Union Station all for the same $1!!!

Pickups from Union Station are at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm. Returns from Clinton’s Soda Fountain to Union Station are at 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm.  Remember advance reservations are needed for the Union Station connection.

Find out more about the TRUMAN TROLLEY here.

For additional information or reservations call 816-512-5555 or go to www.visitindependence.com

To combine this transit adventure with public transit options check the KCATA trip planner at www.kcata.org

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Transit Adventures | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

New Silver Route in Independence

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 2, 2010


Before the opening event ceremony at Centerpoint

Mary Hunt, Senior Planner, and Mayor Reimal show the map of the new Silver Route

Mark Huffer, KCATA General Manager, speaking at the opening event

Independence Community Development Director Jennifer Clark and Senior Planner Mary Hunt celebrate the opening of the Silver Route with transit rider Pyllis Mays

July 1 – The opening event at Centerpoint Hospital for Independence’s new Silver Route transit service shows what can happen when people think ahead and creatively. Several years ago Independence structured the Centerpoint Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to fund a new bus route. The route will run Tuesday and Thursday and connect Centerpoint Medical facilities, the Social Security Administration, 39th & Noland (Walgreens and CVS are both there), Olde Oak Tree Apartments, the Midwest Genealogy Center (a Mid-Continent library and the largest public genealogy library in the country) and the Independence Transit Center.

Independence Mayor Don Reimal pointed out that this is a really good use of TIF money and it shows that when Independence has the money they provide transit.  He emphasized that no money was used from general revenues. KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer pointed out that this is probably the first use of TIF to fund transit in Missouri.

Phyllis Mays, an Independence transit rider and transit advocate who helped develop the route, was the first person to ride the new route.

The buses for this route have been fitted with two wheelchair positions since Independence has identified the need to accommodate additional wheelchair passengers on this route.

We salute Independence for its funding commitment to its regular transit service. Sales taxes are down and the Community Development Department, which administers the transit service, has had budget cuts of 30% over the last two years.  The decision was made to absorb those cuts in other ways and keep the budget for the regular transit services consistent at $1 million.  Anyone who has paid attention to the sales tax funding crisis for transit around the whole country should find this an exceptional commitment to transit in difficult financial times.

JR

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers