It’s Not Just About 669 – Save The JO!
Posted by Transit Action Network on July 21, 2012
We’ve blogged about Johnson County Transit’s plan to eliminate Route 669. But there are other essential routes on the chopping block, too. Here are entries that we previously posted on Flickr about three of the other routes that we believe deserve special consideration. Only lack of time has kept us from posting about some of the other routes as well.
JCT Route 546 – Johnson Drive / Quivira — Save This Bus!
The Route 546 bus pauses at the 6000 Lamar Transit Hub in Mission at 6:14 am to exchange passengers with other routes. This particular bus brought 4 passengers from points in Shawnee and Lenexa. Route 546 previously went all the way to Downtown Kansas City, but it was truncated at 6000 Lamar in January, 2012, to cut costs. Passengers who previously had a single-seat ride to their Downtown destination now have to transfer. As a result, ridership has suffered, and on many days one of these little 12-14 passenger buses is used. In addition, these small buses ride like trucks, and that doesn’t encourage ridership, either. Route 546 is proposed for elimination effective January, 2013.
The first of two inbound morning trips of JCT Route 667 pauses at the 6000 Lamar Transit Hub in Mission at 6:49 am to exchange passengers with other JCT routes. This route is proposed for elimination effective January, 2013. This particular trip served about 13 passengers, 11 of whom boarded at 6000 Lamar or closer to its Downtown Kansas City final destination. Route 667 passes KU Med Center, where only one passenger got off. Low ridership has to be due, in part, to the fact that there is virtually no evidence of this route along the way: only six JO bus stop signs were spotted beyond this point for inbound (i.e., toward KU Med and Kansas City) riders, and none of those are within Wyandotte County where KU Med Center is located. First rule of public transit: Make the service visible.
The Route 672 – Midday bus stops to board passengers at Crown Center at 1:07 pm daily. Originally known as Route M – Midday, this route has long been a mystery. After all, what does “Midday” tell you about where it might take you? Nothing, right? It’s a wonder anybody rides it at all, yet it currently averages about 20 riders per day.
The Midday bus makes one daily round trip from the Great Mall in Olathe to Downtown Kansas City and back. Along the way it serves the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe, Harvest Community Church park-and-ride lot on Strang Line Road, Johnson County Community College, Oak Park Mall (and park-and-ride), Metcalf South Shopping Center (and park-and-ride), the 6000 Lamar Transit Hub in Mission, the retail complex in Roeland Park, Central Library and Sprint Arena in Downtown Kansas City, Crown Center (Lego Land, SeaLife, Kaleidoscope, shopping, etc), Union Station (Science City, special exhibits, etc).
Route 672 is the only transit link between Kansas City’s Downtown / Crown Center corridor and Johnson County between 9 am and 3 pm. It’s significance is that when used in combination with one of the morning or afternoon commuter routes, Route 672 makes possible many half-day trips in either direction — to OPM for shopping, to JCCC for a class or cultural event, to Crown Center / Union Station for kid-friendly attractions. It also gives commuters the option of using transit when they plan a half workday. Trouble is, Johnson County Transit has never promoted these uses, or even the fact that Route 672 can be used in combination with the commuter routes. We’ve done that more than once, most recently for half-day trips to Union Station for the dinosaur exhibit two years ago: Take The JO to the Jurassic
Route 672 is proposed for elimination in January, 2013. Because it’s not a commuter route, it doesn’t have a core group of “regulars” to come to its defense. Instead, it serves occasional transit riders who use it for a variety of purposes. Thus, it needs all of us transit proponents to come to its defense if it’s to survive. (If you’re a regular on one of The JO’s commuter routes, 672 is your backup — even though you might not be aware of it.) Instead of elimination, Route 672 needs a second trip — for example, in from Great Mall, out only as far as OPM or JCCC, then back to Downtown and back out to the Great Mall. That would be less than double the miles, but more than double the value to its current and many potential users. Come on, Johnson County Transit, don’t eliminate Route 672 before you’ve even given it a proper chance to succeed.
Please let the Board of County Commissioners know how important The JO is by attending the public hearing. Speakers will be allowed 3 minutes.
Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Public Budget Hearing
July 23rd @ 7 pm
Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry, Olathe, KS 66061
If you miss the meeting:
Contact Johnson County Board of County Commissioners
- Phone: 913-715-0430
- Email contact form: http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us
Contact Johnson County Transit
- E-mail: Comments@thejo.com
- Mail: Johnson County Transit, 1701 West 56 Highway, Olathe, Kansas 66061
- Phone: 913-715-8255 – record your message
Deadline for public comment is July 30, 2012.