New Silver Route in Independence
Posted by Transit Action Network on July 2, 2010
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.