Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for January, 2013

Action Alert! KCMO City Manager’s Budget Is Failing The Transit System

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 25, 2013


kcmo_big_logoIn December of 2010, Transit Action Network lead an effort to get Ordinance 100951 passed to restore funding to KCATA  from the 1/2 cent transportation sales tax (officially the “Public Mass Transportation Fund”). Groups representing over 160,000 people, in addition to bus riders, spoke up in support of this ordinance.

Now the City Manger’s submitted budget for FY 2013-14 doesn’t abide by this Ordinance to restore funding to the Metro.

KCATA averages nearly 55,000 daily riders and 2012 ridership was the second highest in 20 years. The transit system is vital to people getting to work and looking for work, yet the City Manager’s budget appears to be ignoring this simple instruction regarding KCATA funding based on the ordinance:

Section 2. That the City Manager is directed to incrementally increase the current appropriation to 95%, beginning with the budget taking effect on May 1, 2011.

The 95% requirement to restore funding to KCATA has to be met by May 2014, yet KCATA is budgeted a smaller percentage (70.5%) in the proposed FY 2013-14 budget than when the ordinance was passed in December 2010 (73.8%).  The dollar amount budgeted for KCATA is the same for FY 2013-14 as FY 2012-13. The City Manager’s KCATA budget is going in the wrong direction! It isn’t fair and it doesn’t match the wishes of the voters or the ordinance passed by the City Council. Why do people have to fight the same battles with public officials over and over again?

1.   Call your council member or Mayor James to insist that Ordinance 100951 be followed and not ignored. Ask that the KCATA funding be moved close to  $29 million (88%) from the Public Mass Transportation Fund, which is appropriate for this step in implementation of the Ordinance, instead of the $23.5 million (70.5%) the City Manager has proposed.

Mayor’s office 816-513-3500 email Mayor@kcmo.org

Council office 816-513-1368

Go to http://kcmo.org/CKCMO/CityOfficials/CityCouncilOffice/index.htm

For phone numbers and emails for specific council members

Where is the incremental increase for KCATA?

Where is the incremental increase for KCATA?

2. Attend the budget hearings and insist that the ordinance be implemented correctly.

2013-14 Public Budget Hearings Currently Announced

Saturday, February 2
9am to 11am
Robert J. Mohart Multi-Purpose Center (auditorium)
3200 Wayne, KCMO 64109

Saturday, February 9
9am to 11am
Northland Neighborhoods Inc.
4420 NE Chouteau Trafficway, KCMO 64117

Saturday, February 23
9am to 11am
KCPD South Patrol Division (main entrance)
9701 Marion Park Drive, KCMO 64137

The non-transit uses were supposed to be reduced to allow the KCATA budget to increase. The 1/2 cent transportation sales tax was not supposed to be diverted to non-transit uses when the 3/8 cent transit sales tax was voted in. In fact, the non-transit uses have gone from $4.6 million in the year the ordinance was passed to $6 million for the proposed budget.

KCATA is providing more transit service than the city is paying for by using up its reserve account. Their other choice is to significantly cut service again and no one wants that. The reserve account was used to help out in the recent financial crisis, but this shouldn’t still be happening. There is a serious need for the Ordinance to be implemented and the city should stop dragging its feet, pay its bills and provide the essential transit service the voters want.

In addition, the city has taken the $2 million it committed for the streetcar from this fund. The $2 million for the streetcar is a long-term yearly commitment for the city.

TAN has alerted the City Auditor, Gary White, to this situation. Part of his job is to alert city officials to potential problems that could undermine the public’s trust in City government.” Not abiding by this ordinance certainly falls into that category.

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See our recent article. Our Request to KCMO: Move Transit Funding Closer to Goal in Next Budget  (This article was written using the previous budget numbers)

Links to two 2010 blog posts  A Great Victory For Transit and The Scoop on Kansas City Transit Funding

Public Mass Transportation Fund-Submitted FY 2013-14 Budget from the City Manager’s budget

The full Manager’s Budget can be found online in the City’s Open Data Catalog at http://data.kcmo.org.

Ordinance 100951

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Title VI Claim Filed Against Johnson County Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 9, 2013


bnr_rotate_2Transit Action Network filed a Title VI* claim with the Federal Transit Administration Civil Rights Division against Johnson County Transit (JCT) on December 14, 2012 in response to service cuts effective January 2, 2013. Additional signatories to the complaint are The Whole Person, Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, and Westwood Christian Church.The Federal Transit Administration

The FTA Civil Rights Division is reviewing the service cuts for compliance with Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, conformance with FTA Circulars 4702.1A and 4702.1B, and Environmental Justice issues under Executive Order 128998, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations.”

Johnson County failed to get the FTA Civil Rights Division to review and approve the service cuts before the Johnson County Board of Commissioners approved the plan. The only way to get the service cuts reviewed now was to file a formal complaint.

The basis of our disparate impact claim (see FTA Powerpoint presentation)  is that riders and potential riders were harmed by Johnson County Transit’s inadequate and exclusionary public participation process, which did not conform with Title VI requirements of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, therefore denying Minority and Low-Income Populations an opportunity for their issues to be considered as part of the decision-making process.

Johnson County Poverty

Data provided by United Community Services of Johnson County

In addition to the deficiencies in the public participation process, TAN raised numerous other areas of concern about the service cuts:

  • The Title VI analysis prepared by Johnson County Transit appears to be missing required data.
  • The inferior service levels provided to Minority and Low-Income Populations throughout the JCT service area
  • Segmenting-chipping away at minority routes to eliminate them while avoiding Title VI requirements
  • The impact to Minorities with Disabilities
  • The 33% service cut on Route 812/J may place a disproportionate burden on the Low-Income Population that uses this route, which causes an Environmental Justice issue.
    • This route serves numerous elderly transit dependent people living in Section 8 HUD housing who depend on this route to acquire basic needs such as fresh food, medicines and clothing.
  • The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners priority list for retaining service, which JCT was directed to use, appears to be discriminatory.
  • JCT does not comply with its own Title VI program to put bus stop signs at every time point and/or every half-mile, therefore making the transit service virtually invisible in minority areas, such as around the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kansas.  This lack of public information contributes to their low ridership numbers.

Johnson County does a great job attracting economic development and creating jobs, yet a very small percentage of those jobs are accessible by transit. This situation is reflected in both the 2011 and 2012 Brookings Institution reports on job access by transit. In 2011 the Kansas City region was 90th of 100 and in 2012 it was 94th of 100 in its ability to provide access to jobs by transit. Johnson County is the main reason for the low ranking since it has a large portion of the jobs yet the commuter service has not adjusted to the new realities of suburban job location. Most of the transit is still focused on moving non-minority, middle and upper-income individuals into Downtown Kansas City, MO where only 14% of the region’s jobs exist.

In addition, even though Johnson County’s Minority and Low-Income Populations have increased significantly, the commuter service has not adjusted to address the needs of these residents, let alone needs of people in their greater service area.

TAN will gladly work with Johnson County Transit, the Johnson County BOCC and the FTA to resolve or mitigate the issues in any way we can.

For more information about the claim see the supplemental documentation we provided the FTA.

Title VI Claim-JCT DEC 2102 And Attachments  Title VI claim-JCT Dec2012, A1Jan 2013 route changes-eliminations, A2BoCC priorities matched with routes, A3Save The Jo handout

*FTA Powerpoint presentation explaining Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title_VI_of_the_Civil_RIghts_Act_of_1964

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Time To Sign Up – National Smart Growth Conference with a Kansas City Flavor – Feb 7-9

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 2, 2013


NPSG logo

 New Partners Conference

This year, the New Partners Conference makes its way to America’s heartland—Kansas City, Missouri.

New Partners says “Smart-growth development – compact, walkable, and diverse – is attractive to developers, investors, local governments and communities because it offers new opportunities for economic growth that’s also environmentally sustainable. The 2013 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference offers lots of opportunities to learn about smart growth and economic success.”

The 12th annual New Partners conference will explore practical strategies for identifying and overcoming barriers to more sustainable development in the Midwest and the rest of the nation.

The three-day conference program will include more than 90 sessions and close to 400 speakers. The multidisciplinary program includes breakout sessions, workshops and training sessions.  It  features cutting-edge policies and programs, projects, and best practices, as well as strategies and implementation tools that address the challenges of implementing smart growth development principles.

15 optional tours of local model projects

Don’t just talk about smart growth – come to the conference and see it! Beyond the great sessions, New Partners also offers 15 optional tours of local model projects on Thursday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning (Feb 10th) .

On Thursday morning, Feb 7th, KCATA, the FTA, and Transit Action Network present:

Tour 3–Kansas City’s Low-Cost/ High-Benefit BRT – The MAX

MAX brt

Full  Tour List
  • Tour1–Kansas City, Kansas:Melting Pot in“The Dotte”
  • Tour2–What 1893 KC Can Tell Us about Our American Cities Today
  • Tour3–Kansas City’s Low-Cost/ High-Benefit BRT – The MAX
  • Tour4–A Look at Marlborough: A Community Focused on Holistic Solutions
  • Tour5–Green Impact Zone:A Model of  Concentrated Capacity Building
  • Tour6–Global Trade and Local Community: A Tour of Argentine Neighborhoods
  • Tour 7–First Suburban Redevelopment Strategies in the Kansas City Metro
  • Tour8–Development Tools…Historic Preservation, the Arts and Infrastructure
  • Tour9–18th & Vine Jazz District:A Walk through the Past into the Future
  • Tour10–Rain to Recreation:Lenexa’s Strategy for Stormwater Management
  • Tour11–Kansas City Municipal Farm:Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Transformation
  • Tour12–KC Regional Solar Installations
  • Tour13–Kansas City Walk Audit with Walkability Guru Dan Burden
  • Tour14–Smart Growth Can Be Fun:City Market, Food Trucks, Power & Light District, Crossroads
  • Tour15–Distributing Local, Good Food: The Good Natured Family Farms Experience

Local Sessions

­   Regional Equity Network
   Scenario Planning Tools (combines local Envision Tomorrow examples with examples from other regions)
­   How Midwest Cities Use EECBG (includes Dennis Murphy of KCMO)
­   Good Movement (includes KC examples as well as examples from other parts of the country)
­   Managing school closings (includes KCMO as well as other communities outside the metro area)

There are also a number of Midwest sessions that do not necessarily involve the KC region.

Special Features of the Conference

  • Technology Fair: An Interactive Demonstration of Public Engagement Tools for Smart Planning
  • New Partners Takes the “Parklet” Indoors!
  • The Doctor Is In – the Midwest: EPA’s Smart Growth Prescriptions to Create Sustainable Communities

Sessions will be at the Kansas City Convention Center, with guest rooms across the street at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown Hotel.

Come join us in this process by making your reservation to attend, today!

Conference Brochure

Conference Website & Registration

Registration Deadline: The registration deadline is Friday, January 18, 2013. Registrations will be accepted after this date if space is available, and a $50 late fee will apply. All walk-ins will also include a $35 “walk in” fee (in addition to the late fee).

The official hotel room rate for the group is $119 (single/double) until January 14, 2013 at 5:00pm CDT. After that date, the group rate is subject to availability and is not guaranteed.

PRE-CONFERENCE Wednesday Workshop

Sustainable Neighborhoods, Thriving Residents: Strategies for Building Equitable Communities
■ February 6 • 1:00-6:30 p.m.

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