Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Transit Riders Get More Saturday Seats On Popular KCK Route

Posted by Transit Action Network on October 5, 2012

Loretta Jackson-Cowans, Kathy Darcy and Janet Rogers testified at the UG budget hearing in July 2012

There’ll be fewer people standing on Route 101 Minnesota / State Ave. buses beginning October 6.  That’s because the Metro will use bigger buses on Saturdays.

Route 101 buses run less frequently on Saturdays — hourly instead of every 30 minutes — and many passengers were having to stand as they did their weekly errands for grocery shopping and other purposes.  Add strollers and shopping carts to the riders, and things were getting pretty crowded.

Transit Action Network advocates Loretta Jackson-Cowans, Kathy Darcy, and Janet Rogers testified about the overcrowding at the Unified Government’s budget hearing on July 30, 2012.  That testimony, added to the fact that this route gets the most complaints from Wyandotte County riders, convinced the Commissioners to provide more money for 40-passenger buses instead of 23-passenger buses on Saturdays.  Speaking up really does matter.

Transit industry standards consider 125% of seated capacity as the maximum desirable load on buses.  When loads routinely exceed that level, the condition needs to be remedied. For a 23-seat bus, 29 passengers is the upper level, and that level was being exceeded regularly.

Not only is overcrowding a safety hazard for riders, but it has a dampening effect on ridership as people are discouraged from riding due to sardine-can-like conditions.

This “problem” is actually a sign of success. It shows how popular and important Route 101 is, and that it certainly deserves to be upgraded to the “Connex” service next year. In the meantime,  Commissioners of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County agreed to upgrade to large buses, and we are pleased to see the upgrade happen the very next quarter.

TAN is glad we could help, and we appreciate the data provided by Metro staff.

Enjoy the extra seats!

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