Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Small Steps Toward Seamless Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on May 19, 2010

The Transit Action Network wants “seamless transit” for the Kansas City region.

What do we mean by seamless transit?  Basically it comes down to making it easier to connect among the three transit systems (ATA, The JO, and UGT).  Shared bus stops with posted schedules and other information, especially where routes intersect.  A common monthly transit pass, or at least having the three systems accept each other’s monthly passes. Simple things.

At lot is happening in transit right now, and it might seem reasonable to postpone some of these details while dealing with more immediate issues.  We think this is precisely the time to do it.

Looking just at Johnson County, for example, there are opportunities that shouldn’t be lost.  Beginning In July, Johnson County Transit will add trips on Metcalf and Shawnee Mission Parkway, and will launch a new route on 75th Street that will connect with MAX and other ATA routes in Waldo.  In addition, federal stimulus money has been awarded to JCT to prepare for BRT (bus rapid transit) in the Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor, with connections to MAX at the Plaza.

The ATA’s Route 175 currently operates along Metcalf between 95th and 119th, three trips in the morning and three in the afternoon.  That route, along with the new JCT service to begin in July, presents opportunities to improve connectivity for transit users.

Consider:

1 – Add information about the new JCT service at MAX and other stops in Missouri, and to let people know that the two systems honor each other’s transfers.

2 – At Waldo, make sure the new JCT route serves the MAX stop directly, rather than forcing people to cross 75th Street and walk 150 yards to connect to MAX.

3 – At Waldo and the Plaza, add a map of the several routes that radiate outward from those stops.

4 – At the Metcalf South park-and-ride lot, add a schedule poster and information about where to board the ATA Route 175 bus that passes by on 95th and Metcalf, but doesn’t serve the park-and-ride.  (Better yet, reroute the 175 to serve the park-and ride lot.)

5 – When new bus stops are posted along Metcalf, have them show what routes serve them, ATA as well as JCT routes.

6 – Wherever passenger shelters are installed, provide information about transit service.  Every shelter is a 24/7 presence for transit, and should be used as part of the transit marketing plan.

7 – Show all connecting routes when JCT and the ATA publish new or revised pocket schedules, or publish such information on their respective websites.

JCT and the ATA, working with MARC, have been partners in applying for and receiving the federal stimulus money for transit that was announced back in February.  They should use this closer level of cooperation and coordination to make their respective transit services work more like a seamless regional system.

Ron McLinden

May 18, 2010

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