Why is the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) re-organizing? Why has Johnson County chosen KCATA to manage their buses again after 30 years? What is the new Regional Transit Coordinating Council (RTCC) and how is it getting more money for transit and streamlining the regional paratransit services for people with disabilities? How will all these changes affect the community and transit riders?
Janet Rogers of Transit Action Network interviews Robbie Makinen, the main architect of these transit changes, on RadioActive Magazine.When: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 @ 6 PM Where: Transit Talk on RadioActive Magazine, 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio
Robbie Makinen is Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for KCATA and co-chair of the Regional Transit Coordinating Council, (RTCC) a new transit council lead by KCATA and Mid America Regional Council. (His paying job is Director of Governmental Affairs at Jackson County).
Robbie shares his passion for a better transit system and his personal experiences using paratransit. He discusses the importance of re-organizing KCATA to transform it into the transportation authority it was originally meant to be, and the accomplishments of the year old RTCC.
Major RTCC accomplishments in first year
- Coordinated Funding Requests and Allocations (STP, CMAQ) – A Big Win! This allocation of federal money includes the largest share of federal Surface Transportation Program dollars that transit has ever received in this region – The $10 million allocated to Jackson County toward the purchase of the Rock Island corridor came out of this process. (The county still needs another $50 million for that purchase.)
- Regular dialogue between the transit agencies at both the staff and policy level about transit issues –seamless transit issues are a major focus of these discussions. Read TAN’s seamless transit document from 2011. Seamless Transit In the Kansas City Region We are pleased the coordinating council is working on these items and we expect to see many of these issues resolved in the short to mid-term.
- Regional Trip Planner – A Big Win! Riders can now use Google’s trip planner for trips on any of the transit systems.
- Interim regional pass program – A landmark agreement between the four transit agencies; the JCT 31 day pass is functioning as an interim regional pass. We don’t believe this interim solution will attract many additional users due to the high cost of the JCT monthly pass (Standard JO 31 day pass $75.60, Metro 31 day regular and express pass $50), but it is a significant cooperation agreement between the transit agencies.
- Regional Branding and Website (In Progress) “RIDEKC” will be rolled out to the region soon. The Downtown Streetcar has already released its version of the logo.
- Regional Map (In Progress) – the map will tie into the regional branding and website work Interactive Regional Transit Map
- Regional Travel Training (Paratransit related)
- Regional Paratransit Eligibility Process (In Progress as part of Mobility Management Strategies)
- Project to coordinate paratransit services between the transit agencies (In Progress)
- Fare Elasticity Model (complete) This model will help the transit agencies understand the impact on ridership caused by raising fares.
- Regional Fare Study (In Progress) Identify an appropriate (we hope fair) fare structure for the region.
Recent article about Robbie Makinen by Mike Hendricks of the KC Star.
KCATA information: The KCATA Board of Commissioners meets monthly, on Wednesdays, in the Breen Administration Building, 1200 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Mo., 64108. Meetings begin at 12:00 p.m. The next meeting is Nov 19.
KCATA board meetings are open to the public and public comments are welcome. Sign up before the meeting starts for a 3 minute comment slot.
Board of Commissioners, meeting dates, agendas and actions http://www.kcata.org/about_kcata/entries/board_of_commissioners
RTCC information: Their meeting locations alternate between KCATA and MARC. They are usually the first Tuesday of the month, but check the website. Next meeting: January 6, 2014 at 9:00 a.m, KCATA, Breen Building.
RTCC meetings are open to the public and public comments are welcome. Sign up before the meeting starts for a 3 minute comment slot. http://www.marc.org/Transportation/Committees/Transportation-Committees/Transit-Coordinating-Council
Previous TAN article RTCC Tackles Big Transit Issues – Funding and Paratransit
Link to previous Transit Talk radio shows
The next Transit Talk on RadioActive magazine is January 6, 2015 at 6 pm.