Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for November, 2011

Open House #2 Nov 29, 30 & Dec 1- Jackson County Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis

Posted by Transit Action Network on November 23, 2011


Don’t miss the second open house for the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis. There are opportunities in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, and Kansas City to view and comment on the alternatives considered for advancement to the Tier Two Screening. There are significant changes from the first open house and some new alternatives. Study website

Tier 2 Screening: This screening ultimately will result in the selection of a single Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) defined in terms of mode and general alignment. Tier 2 Screening will evaluate the short list of full corridor alternatives at a level of detail sufficient for local decision-makers to select a LPA. The Tier 2 screening will rely on the travel demand forecasting model and limited conceptual engineering focusing on capital, operating and maintenance costs.

Invitation to JCCCAA 2nd open house

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

Bicycling: Your New Bus Transfer

Posted by Transit Action Network on November 18, 2011


Let me start by getting one thing out of the way: I am a bike commuter.

Bike Share KC Demo

My morning bike commute is one of the best parts of my day. I also run errands by bike, I explore my city by bike and sometimes haul heavy objects on a bike trailer. And I do these things for, I am sure, many of the same reasons you use public transit: I save money, help the environment and both options offer less stressful alternatives to driving.

But here is another bit of information: I also use transit on a weekly basis and I am a monthly KCATA pass holder.

I buy a pass because there are mornings when I wake up and just don’t feel like riding into the office. Or alternatively, the hill at the end of the day to get back home can sometimes be just too daunting to tackle. Sometimes it’s just nice to let someone else do the driving for a change. But more often than not, I am just using the bike for the first and last mile of my transit trip.

Likewise, I am sure you might be in the same boat on occasion. Transfers take too long or headways just don’t match your schedule. And working your grocery store trips around the bus schedule can be a bit of an ordeal. Perhaps you drive for most of your trips because the nearest bus route is out of walking distance.

Having an alternative sure comes in handy sometimes.

So, I invite you to consider making a minor change in your lifestyle by turning your bike into your new transfer. And BikeWalkKC would like to make this easier for you by offering to be your community partner and help you along your journey (literally). Bicycling in a big city may be a little intimidating for some, but I promise it is an activity that anyone can truly enjoy. It just takes a little confidence.

BikeWalkKC is launching a brand new lineup of educational experiences called KC FeetFirst for area residents who want to feel a little more comfortable when taking to the streets. Every month, there’s a recurring schedule of highly informative, interactive and lively workshops.

The first Friday of the month you can attend Art of the Bike or gain legitimate city bicycling skills on the second Saturday in Confident City Cycling. Talk shop and get hands-on bike maintenance advice on the third Thursday of the month at Maintain Your Ride; each month brings a new learning topic. The second Tuesday of the month will be a clinic on a particular pedestrian or bicycle topic. December’s installment is called Dress Your Bike for Winter.

All of the workshops and clinics are free (BikeWalkKC suggests you make a small donation) and open to the public. For more information or to register, click here.

And while Kansas City may not be as bike friendly as Portland, Oregon, we do have bike racks on 100% of our bus fleet. This is something few major cities can say. It really enables you to cover the first and last mile of your trip without waiting. It also greatly increases number of bus route options for your journey.

Now, we aren’t asking you to stop taking the bus. We just want to help you add another transportation alternative to what you already have or help make transit a more viable option.

Not to mention, you’ll get to feel the wind in your face while getting some exercise and most importantly… having fun!

Sign up today: www.BikeWalkKC.org/education    While you are thinking about bicycling, check out the website of our proposed Public Bike Share. Think of it like another layer of public transportation where the stop is a docking station and the bus is a bike.

Tell us where YOU would like to see stations with our Suggest a Station feature: www.bikesharekc.com.

Bike Share KC is expected to launch by July 2012.

Guest blogger: Eric Bunch is Director of Education, BikeWalkKC. He gave a presentation about the proposed Public Bike Share program at the November TAN meeting.

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JCT First to Implement Bus-On-Shoulder in the KC Region

Posted by Transit Action Network on November 16, 2011


Starting January 3, 2012 Johnson County Transit will start using the shoulder on I-35 to move it’s buses pass congestion on the highway.  This Bus-On-Shoulder (BOS) strategy is used in several cities to keep buses running on schedule when traffic congestion is heavy enough to slow the highway speed below 35 mph. Minneapolis has used it for years and has 250 miles of highways usable for BOS lanes.  Chicago is starting BOS this week on I-55.

BOS is considered an innovated method to move more people efficiently using existing infrastructure. This method will be used on The JO Xpress, an enhanced bus service along I-35 linking Johnson County with downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Bus service currently runs along I-35, but this enhanced bus service will operate during the morning and evening rush hours from 95th Street to the Johnson/Wyandotte County Line.

With the current level of congestion on I-35 during rush hour JCT expects 8-10 buses a day will utilize the shoulder option. On a “normal” day buses will gain 3-5 minutes, but the real benefit comes when I-35 traffic is slowed due to incidents or weather.

For safety reasons the buses are limited to no more than 35 mph and can’t go more than 10 mph faster than traffic. Buses yield to other vehicles entering, merging or exiting through the shoulder. Of course they have to re-enter traffic when the shoulder is obstructed.

BOS has no negative effect on existing traffic, however, based on the experience in other cities it can have a positive effect on transit ridership due to improved schedule reliability.

Chuck Ferguson, Deputy Transportation Director of JCT gave this presentation about the new service to the Total Transportation Policy Committee at MARC in October. (TTPC Presentation 10-2011)

Bus on Shoulder is not a cure for congestion on the highways, but it is another tool in the transit toolbox to improve the commuting experience.

JCT is implementing The JO Xpress BOS as a result of the Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis completed in 2008. I-35 Fixed Guideway Corridor Alternatives Analysis Executive Summary

Review the significant summary table from that report showing projected ridership numbers and estimated cost for different alternatives.

Click to Enlarge

Read the study JCT completed in 2009 about implementing this strategy. Johnson County I-35 Fixed Guideway Phased Implementation Plan

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JCT-Public Comment on Proposed Route Changes – Nov 16 & 18

Posted by Transit Action Network on November 10, 2011


Johnson County Transit is holding two public meetings to provide an opportunity to comment on proposed service changes to The JO bus routes.

Public Meetings on the proposed changes:

Where: 6000 Lamar (Johnson County Offices) in Mission, Kansas ‐ Meeting Rooms B & C

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:00 a.m.

These routes are proposed to be eliminated:
Route 502/O ‐ 75th Street‐Olathe
Route 671/LNLate JoCo‐Downtown
Route 680/V ‐ KCK‐Strang Line
Route 814/815 ‐ Shawnee CityRide

View all the JCT Proposed Route Changes or  visit www.thejo.com or call 913-715-8366

Interested parties can also comment by email: Comments@thejo.com

The new schedules will begin on January 3, 2012.

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Sanders Commits to Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on November 3, 2011


County Executive Mike Sanders, in his State of the County Address today, made a strong commitment to regional public transit.

After describing past accomplishments of his administration, Sanders clearly had his eye on the next generation when he closed by talking about transit.

We have decisions to make, he said. It’s time for a new vision to meet the transportation needs of the next generation.

We have a rich tradition of public transit, and Sanders said he is committed to a modern public transit system.

Sanders cited a Brookings report earlier this year — the one that ranked our region 90th of 100 at getting people to jobs by transit — and pointed out that while only some of us ride transit, all of us need it.

Sanders said the region has recently gotten $2 million in federal money to study how to meet transit needs in major commuter corridors, and he is working with regional partners to complete those studies.

Sanders closed with what he called one simple question: What do we want to do for the next generation?

He asked people to join with him on the next journey, building a regional transit system.

In his speech Sanders made no reference to any particular form of transit. That’s appropriate because the requisite studies have not been completed. Nor was there a hard-and-fast target date. That, too, is appropriate because funding is uncertain.

County Executive Mike Sanders made a strong leadership commitment to regional transit, and that is truly significant.

Posted in Meeting Reports, Regional Transit Issue | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »