Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for August, 2010

Let’s Tweet Up Transit!!!

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 19, 2010


The JO's Route 575 connects with KCATA's MAX at Waldo

Announcing Transit Action Network’s first occasional Tweet Up Transit Sweepstakes.

If you care about transit like we care about transit, let’s get on the bus and tweet about it.  Specifically, let’s ride and tweet about The JO’s new and expanded service routes, plus Route M (AKA, the Route of the Dinosaurs). https://transactionkc.com/2010/07/20/take-the-jo-to-the-jurassic/

There’s a prize at stake.

Here’s how it works:

Between now and Friday, September 3, ride any of the following Johnson County Transit routes and then tweet about it.

+ Route 556 / 856 – Metcalf Plaza (135th and Metcalf to the Plaza and Cleaver Blvd and Troost)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/556.pdf

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/856.pdf

+ Route 575 / 875 – 75th Street (KU Edwards and JCCC to Waldo)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/575.pdf

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/875.pdf

+ Route 664 – Metcalf Downtown (135th and Metcalf to Downtown Kansas City)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/664.pdf

+ Route M / 672 – Midday (Great Mall and Olathe to Downtown Kansas City and Union Station)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/Route_M.pdf

Tell us which route you rode and a little about your experience.  Most important, include our Twitter name @transactionkc (so it’ll show up on our Twitter timeline), plus the hashtag #thejo.  For each day that you tweet we’ll enter you into a drawing for a big prize.  There are 15 days — including weekends, when you can’t ride but you can still tweet — so you can have up to 15 chances to win.

At the end we’ll post all of the tweets — or at least the best ones — on our blog.  And we’ll award the prize.

So come on, let’s get out there and ride.  And tweet!  (Employees of Johnson County Transit, KCATA, and MARC are encouraged to enter but are not eligible to win.)

Oh, yeah — the prize.  The prize will be a 10-ride pass on The JO.  We know, that’s not a very impressive prize.  But hey, you think we’re millionaires?  😉

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Posted in Local Transit Issues, Seamless Transit, Transit Adventures | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

News From The JO

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 16, 2010


New Service Kick-off Event on August 19

Johnson County Transit added new transit service on new and existing routes on July 6.  Help Transit Action Network help The JO formally celebrate the new service at an event on Thursday, August 19, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at the Price Chopper just east of Metcalf on 75th Street.  More information about the event and the new routes is on The JO’s website:

http://www.thejo.com/free.shtml

Success of this new service may be essential to getting federal funds to implement the planned Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway BRT (bus rapid transit) route in the future.  More than $10 million of federal stimulus money has already been obtained to add bus stops, shelters, a new transit hub in Mission, and other facilities along the planned BRT route.  Read our blog entry about the new service:

https://transactionkc.com/2010/07/09/inaugurating-the-new-johnson-county-transit-service/

Johnson County Starts “START”

A Strategic Transit Recommendation Taskforce (START) has been formed by the Johnson County commission to study transit issues in the county, including the critical issue of how to fund implementation of the strategic transit plan.  The 24-member task force is chaired by Steve Klika, who also chairs the Johnson County Transportation Council.  JCTC serves as the board of directors for The JO.  START’s second meeting will be at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 19, at the Sylvester Powell Community Center at 6200 Martway in Mission.  Conveniently, that’s immediately after the new service celebration (above).  Here’s the START webpage:

http://www.thejo.com/resources/start.shtml

For additional perspective, see the story in Saturday’s Kansas City Star:

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/13/2148259/joco-offers-new-website-to-explain.html

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

NOTICE: Urban Core Transit Issues-meeting Tues Aug 17.

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 14, 2010


StreetCar from KCATA Streetcar Concept Webpage

Condensed from a press release from the Office of Councilman Russ Johnson, August 13,2010

The Traffic & Transportation Subcommittee of Kansas City’s Parking and Transportation Commission will hear information on the current status of urban transit as well as options for the future. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 17th at 2:45 p.m. at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), 1200 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

The KCATA will present information concerning its financial status, the current condition of downtown transit, examples of transit options from other cities, and future opportunities for downtown transit, including street cars.

“The Traffic and Transit subcommittee is excited to make progress on improving urban core public transit issues,” said Councilman Russ Johnson. “The Subcommittee welcomes members of the public who are interested in hearing the presentation and learning more about the condition of existing transit and the challenges we face.”

The Traffic and Transit Subcommittee  is charged with addressing public transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic issues.  Although no recommendations will be made during this meeting, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the presentation and issues under the scope of the subcommittee.

The subcommittee will also hear a report from the Missouri Department of Transportation concerning its I-35 feasibility study.

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

July KCATA BOC meeting:Comprehensive Service Analysis, Public Input and Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 8, 2010


KCATA Board of Commissioners meeting July 28, 2010

July 28- KCATA Board of Commissioners Meeting

Comprehensive Service Analysis

The KCATA Comprehensive Service Analysis (CSA) is underway. Link to find out about the 2010-2011 Service Analysis.

Take the Preference Survey for the CSA. It is  important that transit riders speak up and take this survey. It is available in English and Spanish.  The choices are hard.

Link to the CSA July2010 presentation by Nelson Nygaard about the analysis.

KCATA expects to have public meetings in the Fall. We will keep you informed of these meetings.

Public Input:

Ron McLinden, advocate with Transit Action Network, presents appeals for seamless transit at the July 28,2010 KCATA BOC meeting

Ron McLinden, an advocate with the Transit Action Network, spoke about the new services started by Johnson County Transit. He expressed TAN’s strong support for this service and the importance of these routes toward the development of Bus Rapid Transit in Johnson County. TAN had met previously with Cindy Baker, KCATA Director of Marketing, about combining signage and schedules between KCATA and the JO for these new routes. Since Cindy had said KCATA was willing to do this, Ron expressed appreciation for this important step toward seamless transit.

Clay Chastain spoke. He offered an “olive branch” to the KCATA and wanted them to work with him on a transit package to take to voters this  November. The board listened politely and thanked him for coming.

Clay Chastain presentation to KCATA BOC July 28,2010

Customer Satisfaction Survey

ETC Institute recently conducted a Customer Satisfaction Survey about KCATA.  This survey showed overall improvement from the previous survey in 2007.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed used the service for either going to work or job seeking, supporting the idea of how important the service is to the community. More people are transit dependent than in 2007.

Riders felt there were big improvements in on-time performance and  transit service. Ninety–one percent of riders surveyed would recommend the MAX and the METRO.

Overall results were very positive and better than in 2007 but there is always room for improvement.

Suggested improvements: Improve the courtesy on the Metro information line, integrate technology to distribute information and improve the condition of the buses.

Greatest need: increase weekend service and service between 6am ad 6pm.

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Meeting Reports, Rail, Seamless Transit | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Big Week for Regional Rapid Rail

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 5, 2010


This week two very informative articles appeared in the papers about the TranSystems Regional Rapid Rail concept and the hard work Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders has done to promote the idea.  Both articles discuss problems the plan is encountering and give an update of its status.  We strongly encourage you to read them both since they provide different but complementary information.

Report by KC Star’s Brad Cooper and Michael Mansur –Area rail plans advance slowly. Included in the article is a quote by Transit Action Network advocate Janet Rogers.

Report by the Pitch’s David Martin- Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders puts his energy and his reputation into an unlikely commuter-rail plan.

Transit Action Network reported on July 15 that four of the six lines in the Regional Rapid Rail plan are not being pursued at this point. Federal money is being requested by Mid-America Regional Council to study the remaining two lines and a downtown streetcar distribution system.

Additional information about this concept:

The Regional Rapid Rail concept does not use streetcars or light rail. Both of those are electrified and light-weight by train standards. This idea uses Diesel Multiple Units (DMU). Each DMU would be a two-car train probably run on bio-diesel fuel. They can run on freight lines and city streets. This plan uses underused, abandoned freight lines and new tracks in the suburbs. These freight lines are not available in Jackson County once the train enters Kansas City north of the Truman Sports Complex. At that point it would run on new tracks laid on the streets in what is being called a COMMON LINE for the trains from eastern Jackson County. With this concept the trains on the common line would not function like streetcars or light rail, but would travel much like regular trains except they would be on the streets.

The $2 million Alternatives Analysis (AA) is being requested for these two routes:

The two remaining corridors, the I-70 corridor to Blue Springs and beyond using the Kansas City Southern line, and the Rock Island corridor via Raytown and Lee’s Summit, face their own challenges.

These two lines would share the common line from the vicinity of Union Station — the proposed passenger facility would be across the tracks to the north of Union Station and not in the station itself (freight house district in the region of Lidias Restaurant). The common line would travel to the vicinity of 23rd Street and the Blue River where it would link with the Rock Island right-of-way.  This common line would probably be along yet-to-be identified streets. (Truman Road was studied originally but other alignments would be investigated in the AA).

The Rock Island corridor would have to be completely re-built because the existing rails and roadbed have not been maintained since the last trains used them some 30 years ago.

The I-70 corridor faces additional challenges since it is so circuitous. The current alignment has commuter trains from Blue Springs traveling on the existing KCS line to near 33rd and Noland Road, from which there would be a new line parallel to the existing Union Pacific line south to I-70, then westward along the I-70 right-of-way to a point near Blue Ridge Cut-Off where the route would head south to join the Rock Island line south of Truman Sports Complex.

If federal money is received to study the remaining two commuter routes, a downtown streetcar will be reviewed as well.

For the commuter routes, Expanded Express Buses, Light Rail Transit and Regional Rapid Rail would be evaluated and compared in the commuter corridors.

The study of the downtown circulation system would evaluate and compare Local Bus and Bus Rapid Transit, Streetcar and Light Rail Transit.

Various reasons the other four commuter routes will have express bus/bus on shoulder recommended for the near term:

+ The Wyandotte County corridor has little congestion, relatively little ridership potential as a commuter rail line, and would require significant new right of way.

+ The I-29 and I-35 corridors require the high cost of a Missouri River bridge, and have low ridership projections.  The I-29 corridor faces the added challenge of re-assembling an old inter-urban alignment that has been abandoned for many decades.  The I-35 corridor faces the added challenge of a very circuitous route:  commuters to and from Liberty, for example, would travel via Riverside and the north edge of North Kansas City.

+ The US 71 corridor was eliminated largely because of low ridership projections.  In addition, the alignment under consideration would run on or near Van Brunt Extension and Swope Parkway, and would require a new and yet-to-be defined corridor from near the south edge of Swope Park to an intersection with the existing Kansas City Southern line in the vicinity of 83rd and I-435.

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Rail, Regional Rapid Rail | Tagged: | 2 Comments »