Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

KCATA Route 129 Now Serves KCI Airport Seven Days a Week

Posted by Transit Action Network on April 3, 2013

Expanded Route 129 service to KCI Airport began on March 31, with hourly trips connecting Downtown Kansas City with KCI seven days a week, 19 round trips per day. Buses now also serve all three terminals.

Passenger boards southbound Route 129 bus to Downtown Kansas City.

Passenger boards southbound Route 129 bus to Downtown Kansas City.

There’s a bus stop sign and schedule poster on the median at each terminal:
+ Terminal A, about half-way around
+ Terminal B, about two-thirds of the way around
+ Terminal C, about two-thirds of the way around

We’d give you an approximate gate number for each stop, but KCI Airport does not have a consistent system of location reference points outside the terminal buildings. We consider that to be a serious oversight on their part.  Perhaps some of our local “frequent flyers” can help persuade the KCI folks to do better.

Note that there’s relatively little information on the KCATA schedule poster, even though it’s more than half blank. No hint of destination (Downtown at 10th and Main Transit Center), or travel time (less than one hour), or fare ($1.50), or transfer policy (free transfer good for two hours). Nor is there a route map, or even a simple “stick map.” Such information would be immensely helpful to out-of-town travelers who just naturally expect to find a low-cost public transit connection from a major airport to a city’s Central Business District.

Buses from Downtown (via Boardwalk Square) loop around each terminal before making a final stop at Terminal C. Then they pull forward and wait near the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) office until their scheduled departure time several minutes later. Because this dwell point is not at the curb, drivers would probably not allow a late-arriving passenger to board.

We looked for information about this KCATA service inside the terminal buildings but couldn’t find any. KCATA used to have a colorful panel at each of the nine information kiosks (one opposite each baggage carousel), but those panels are no longer present.

Nor did we see any “Public Transit” directional signs inside the terminal. (Face it, KCI has no incentive to encourage public transit use since they derive much of their revenue from parking and car rental fees.)

All in all, even though there are details to be improved, we applaud KCATA for this new transit connection.


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