1. During public comment, Ron McLinden, Transit Action Network, asked the board to initiate a unilateral 90-day trial period in which KCATA honors Johnson County Transit monthly passes on Main Street MAX buses. A limited trial could be implemented at little or no cost, and would be an important symbolic step toward improving the region’s transit system by making transit a more viable option for more people. The Board agreed to consider the request.
2.The board authorized a contract to purchase eight 2011 Dodge Caravan passenger vans for use in the KCATA”s AdVantage Vanpool Program. The eight vehicles in the current fleet of 33 vehicles have exceeded their 100,000-mile and four-year useful life. The AdVantage Vanpool Program is available to commuters who either reside or work in a community supporting the KCATA through service agreements, and who do not have access to existing public transit services for their commute trip.
View the program http://www.kcata.org/rider_guide/advantage_vanpool_program/
(Unfortunately, the money is for replacement vans only. No additional vans are being added to the vanpool although there is a waiting list and we are in a period of high demand due to high gas prices. This program is great for groups of 6 or more people who want to ride together to work and other forms of public transit are not available: example-people who live in Lee’s Summit but work close to the airport)
3. The Board of Commissioners authorized a cooperative agreement for a KU Medical Center Area Transit Study toward the goal of improving transit service for those working in and around the medical center and improving connections between current transit routes.
The study arose from discussions between Mayor Reardon of Kansas City, Kansas, and Mayor Foster of Roeland Park about improving transit service for those working in and around the medical center and improving connections between current transit routes.
KCATA, MARC, Johnson County Transit, the City of Roeland Park, and the Unified Government have jointly developed a scope for a consultant to analyze options to improve transit services to KU Medical Center for nearby residents, employees, and visitors and to improve transit connections.
HNTB has been selected to conduct the study under their on-call services contract with KCATA, at an estimated cost of $72,500. The study is to be completed this fall. Federal planning funds will be used for 80% of the cost with remaining local funds to be provided by the Unified Government, Johnson County Transit, the City of Roeland Park, and KCATA.
4. The Board of Commissioners authorized a service contract with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, from May 1, 2011, to April 30, 2012, with a City contribution of $43.1 million.
From the 1/2 cent sales tax the contract includes $19.9 million for Metro, $1.9 million for Share-A- Fare and $40.2 thousand to fund specialized services for reverse-commute job transportation. There is $21.3 million from the 3/8-cent sales tax for public transportation.
This contract is an increase of 6.2% over last years contract. Part of that increase is due to the ordinance passed in December 2010 to restore funding to public transit and part is due to higher sales tax revenues.
Keep in mind that this contract is still less than the 2004/2005 Kansas City contract.
Share-A-Fare Price Increases 2011
5.Bryan Beck, KCATA’s Director of ADA Compliance and Customer Service, provided an update on the fare increase from $2.50 to $3 per ADA eligible ride for the Share-A-Fare program, including the results of two public meetings and additional public input. He presented general information and a service review of the Share-A-Fare program. See the full presentation- SAF Update
6. Cindy Baker, KCATA Director of Marketing, made a presentation on the State Avenue corridor project, funded by TIGER grants. It is in the design phase and the design team will soon be meeting with Advisory Council, stakeholders, and the general public. One component of this phase is the branding that will go hand in hand with design and then implementation. This project includes transit infrastructure improvements that could serve as a precursor to a future MAX line.
Johnson County Transit is in a similar situation with their Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf route, also a TIGER-funded improved-transit corridor, but not full BRT service.
The JO has been working with consultants and the public to brand their new line. They have opted to call it “The JO Connex”. KCATA, Unified Government, and Johnson County Transit are all amenable to developing a regional brand, called “Connex,” that would represent a family of routes that include enhanced transit amenities, but do not increase service levels to MAX standards.
Next meeting May 25, 2011.