Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for December, 2012

The JO Route 556 Service Upgrade Coming in January

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 19, 2012

Route 556 service upgrade

The JO bus Route 556 at “Universities” MAX stop

bnr_rotate_2Do you know that The JO serves the “Universities” MAX stop on Troost? Yes, and it has for a couple of years.

What’s more, service on The JO’s Route 556/856 will be upgraded beginning January 2, 2013. The new schedule will have 17 round trips per day compared to 13 at present.

Route 556/856 is precursor to the CONNEX “pre-BRT” service that The JO expects to launch as early as April of next year. The route travels the Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor, connecting UMKC and Rockhurst University on the north with 135th and Metcalf on the south, and traveling via the Plaza and the new Transit Hub being constructed at 5621 Johnson Drive in Mission. Beginning in January, most trips will go only as far south as Rosana Square, 119th and Metcalf.

Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway is one of five major corridors in the region that received federal funding in 2010 under the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program. $10.7 of the $50 million grant to the Kansas City region is being used to provide transit stops and other passenger amenities, real-time arrival signs (comparable to what we see along KCATA’s MAX routes), sidewalks, and upgraded park-and-ride lots.

We have previously posted several progress reports on this corridor, including:
95th and Metcalf:
110th and Metcalf:
Mission Transit Center:

In addition, a recent video by MARC touches on several transit improvements along the route — see “TIGER Episode 6” at this webpage:

For a preview of the new 556/856 schedule see page 5 of 22 in the following document:

Unfortunately, ridership on Route 556/856 is still pretty low considering the level of investment being made — probably fewer than 400 riders per day. The JO needs more riders on this route.

Meanwhile, we’ll be pressing both The JO and The Metro to post Route 556/856 schedule information at key stops in Kansas City. (In response to our request, they recently posted such information at five locations in the Downtown / Crown Center Corridor:)


Posted in Local Transit Issues, Regional Transit Issue | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

KC Streetcar Party Video

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 14, 2012

Transit Action Network shares Kansas City’s excitement over the success of the streetcar election. It has taken a long time and a lot of work but Kansas City will finally get rail and the return of streetcars. Receiving 63% of the vote for the sales tax and 62% for the property tax is a huge victory. This election is a major historic event for Kansas City. Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project and voted for the streetcar!

Watch the election party video and hear the full presentations by Mayor James and Councilmen Russ Johnson and Jim Glover. There is a lot of excitement about the direction of the city.


Matt and David in St. Louis learning how to pass a transit ballot initiative, June 2011


Matt, Janet and David at the CFTE conference, June 2011

Nearly two  years ago we went to lunch with David Johnson and Matthew Staub and suggested they start a dedicated downtown advocacy group to fight for creating a Transportation Development District, TDD, and funding the streetcar. In April 2011, we went with David to the Downtown Neighborhood Association to talk about the streetcar and using the TDD legislation. In June 2011, David,  Matt, TAN advocate Janet Rogers and other Kansas City transit advocates all went to St. Louis for a conference on “How to Pass a Transit Ballot Initiative” hosted by the Center for Transportation Excellence. After that David and Matt were up and running with Streetcar Neighbors.  Little did we know they would do such a great job to make the streetcar a reality, but we certainly believed they were the right people for the job.

Other transit advocates wanting to expand the streetcar into their neighborhoods are already learning from the Streetcar Neighbors model – start early, identify the potential YES voters and get out the vote.

If you missed the Election Watch Party, you can watch it here!

Posted in Events, Rail, Videos-Transit | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Attend the Streetcar Election Watch Party Today

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 12, 2012

kcmo_big_logoThe Kansas City Streetcar election ended last night at 5:00 pm.  565 ballots were received. The Election Board counts and certifies the ballots today.DTSC

Streetcar Neighbors, in collaboration with the Downtown Council,  are hosting an Election Watch Party today.

Where: 1617 Event Space at Nara  1617 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

When: 4 pm to 8 pm

At 4:30 pm Mayor Sly James is scheduled to announce the results of the election.

We expect this announcement to be a major event in the history of Kansas City . Be there!

Facebook event page: Streetcar Election Watch Party

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

MAP-21 Webinar Tuesday Dec 4

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 3, 2012

MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005 and it funds surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014. It expires September 30, 2014. The new law is having a huge impact on transit programs. The FTA is holding a webinar tomorrow and recommends it to transit advocates. The following is their invitation.The Federal Transit Administration

MAP-21 Stakeholder Outreach

The Federal Transit Administration Invites You to Participate in



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1:30pm-3:00pm (Eastern)

View the Live Webcast on Dec. 4:

What’s Covered

  • MAP-21 Overview
  • Outline of the FY 2013 Apportionment Notice
  • Key Provisions and Interim Guidance
  • FY 2013 Apportionment Tables
  • Next Steps – Future Implementation

Who Should Participate

  • FTA Grantees and Subrecipients
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations
  • Public Transportation Advocates

No RSVP necessary. Please review the Webcast Testing Instructions provided.

Posted in Events, National Transit Issues | Leave a Comment »