JCT Results of Bus Rapid Transit Study – Open House in Overland Park – Oct. 18
Posted by Transit Action Network on October 17, 2011
Johnson County recently completed an alternatives analysis study that recommends deploying “Bus Rapid Transit service in mixed traffic” for the Metcalf Avenue and Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor. (Metcalf/SMP October 2011 Newsletter) The bus rapid transit route will extend from 119th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park to 47th Street and Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. Johnson County Transit, and the cities of Mission and Overland Park, will share the study results. The pre-BRT service will initially be “branded” as “CONNEX,” and four buses have already been purchased for this purpose. TAN is concerned that there is no plan or firm commitment to provide the funding necessary to add service even to the Phase I level described in the October 2011 Newsletter.
When: Oct. 18, from 5–7 p.m.
Where: Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty, Overland Park, Kan.
The study evaluated the level of transit service best suited to meet transportation needs in the corridor. This transit corridor connects two states and multiple communities. Study website Mixed-flow lanes represent the no-cost, simplest, most basic type of operation for bus service but they are the least effective BRT service. According to the FTA Characteristics of BRT 2009 Update “most systems with less than 25 percent improvement (in travel time) operate on-street in mixed traffic lanes”.
The Kansas City Regional TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) Grant is providing $10.7 million in transit improvements along the Metcalf Avenue/Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor. These infrastructure improvements are scheduled to be complete in November 2012. JCT would not have qualified for Federal money for these types of infrastructure improvements or BRT upgrade using the FTA Very Small Starts program. To receive FTA Very Small Starts funding, like the Troost MAX received, routes must meet several requirements including at least 3,000 riders per day. We don’t believe that the whole JCT system averages that ridership per day. By using TIGER grant money for these infrastructure improvements, these requirements did not have to be met.
Aside from spending this federal TIGER money, what steps are Johnson County, The JO, Overland Park, and Mission taking to build ridership in this corridor? TAN understands this line currently serves fewer than 400 riders per day.