Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

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:
www.flickr.com/photos/58867268@N03/8024930588/
110th and Metcalf:
www.flickr.com/photos/58867268@N03/8010267924/
Mission Transit Center:
www.flickr.com/photos/58867268@N03/8167640985/

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

For a preview of the new 556/856 schedule see page 5 of 22 in the following document:
www.thejo.com/pdf/Rider/2013RouteSchedules.pdf

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:)
www.flickr.com/photos/58867268@N03/8067854354/

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