Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for the ‘Transit Adventures’ Category

Opportunities for activities on transit

Oak Park Mall Getaway

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 24, 2013


opmOK, so maybe you’re not really a Mall Rat. In fact, you might even have some strong biases against shopping malls. No matter. Visiting a mall once in a while is OK — especially if it’s 105 degrees in the shade outside.

Here’s a plan for a half-day excursion from Kansas City, Missouri (or KCK) to Oak Park Mall  http://www.thenewoakparkmall.com/shop/oakpark.nsf/index in nearby Johnson County.

Let’s assume you’re a Metro rider. Take the Metro bus of your choice to Crown Center (or nearby Union Station), arriving there by 1:15 pm on any weekday. These are some of the many Metro routes that can get you there: Main Street MAX, 27, 47, 51, 54,123, 142, 173, etc.jo-672-m

Be sure to get a Metro transfer. (If you are using a Metro monthly pass or a Metro day pass, just tell your Metro driver, “I need a transfer to The JO.”)

At 1:19 (or thereabouts), board The JO’s Route 672 (Midday) bus

http://www.thejo.com/routes/672.shtml at the southbound MAX stop at Crown Center Square, across from the fountain.  (You can also board at 10th and Main at 1:12 pm, or at the northbound MAX stop on Main across from Union Station at 1:23.)

When you board, swipe your Metro transfer through the farebox, just as you would on a Metro bus, and settle in for a 50-minute ride. You’ll find the JO bus to be clean and comfortable (with really cushy seats), and the driver courteous and helpful.

After a quick sprint along I-35 the bus goes south on Roe through Roeland Park, west along Johnson Drive (pausing at The JO’s new Mission Transit Center at 5251 Johnson Drive), then west on Martway and Shawnee Mission Parkway, south on I-35 and US-169, and west on 95th Street to Oak Park Mall.

You’ll arrive at the Oak Park Mall bus stop / park-and-ride lot about 2:02

Transit Schedule poster at Oak Park Mall. (Our photo is a bit out of date, so refer to current times in accompanying text.)

Transit Schedule poster at Oak Park Mall. (Our photo is a bit out of date, so refer to current times in accompanying text.)

Once at OPM you can (1) Shop, (2) Window-shop, (3) Shop, (4) People-watch, (5) Shop,  or (6) Eat at one of the many eateries in the food court or near the mall.

Transit Schedule poster at Oak Park Mall. (Our photo is a bit out of date, so refer to current times in accompanying text.)

Eventually — even though you might not want to — you’ll need to head back home. Fortunately The JO has several buses that will get you back.

Route 670 (Gardner – Overland Park Xpress) will get you back to Downtown or Crown Center in practically no time at all.  It leaves the OPM park-and-ride lot at 4:49 and 5:49, and the trip takes about 30 minutes. http://www.thejo.com/routes/670.shtml

You can also return via Route 546 or Route 575.

Route 546 (KCK – Quivira) leaves OPM at 3:25, 4:25, and 5:25, and takes you to Downtown KCK via the Mission Transit Center (where you can transfer to Route 556 Connex to the Plaza or Troost). http://www.thejo.com/routes/546.shtml

Route 575 (75th Street – Quivira) leaves OPM at 3:20, 4:20, and 5:20, and takes you to Waldo or 75th and Troost. http://www.thejo.com/routes/575.shtml

Be sure to watch the time, though.  The last buses back are:

Route 575 at 5:20 (to Waldo)

Route 546 at 5:25 (to Downtown KCK via the Mission Transit Center)

Route 670 at 5:49 (direct to Downtown KCMO and Crown Center)

After that, your coach becomes a pumpkin, and you’ll have to call a friend or a taxi — or start walking.

Important note about your return fare:  You probably got to OPM using a Metro transfer. The JO accepts a Metro transfer, but not a Metro monthly pass or day pass, so you’ll need to pay the regular fare to The JO to return. (Shades of Charlie on the MTA?) The regular fare is $2.25 for adults, and $1.10 for seniors (with any ID that shows your date of birth). Kids 5 and under ride free, and kids 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. If you don’t have a Metro monthly pass or day pass to complete your trip once you return to Metro territory, just tell your JO driver, “I need a transfer to the Metro.” The Metro accepts The JO transfers.

Easy, right? We think so. You’ll have kept cool for an afternoon while experiencing one of the region’s biggest shopping malls.  You’ll also have become one of the relatively few transit riders in the region who can say, “I’ve ridden the Metro and The JO!”

So what’s keeping you? Give it a try and let us know what great fun you have!

Originally posted August 8, 2012.  Updated June 24, 2013

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Oak Park Mall Getaway

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 8, 2012


OK, so maybe you’re not a bona fide Mall Rat. In fact, maybe you have some strong biases against malls. No matter. Visiting a mall once in a while won’t kill you — especially if it’s 105 degrees in the shade.

Here’s a plan for a half-day excursion from Kansas City, Missouri, to Oak Park Mall in nearby Johnson County:

Let’s assume you’re a Metro rider. Take the Metro bus of your choice to Crown Center, arriving there by 1:00 pm any weekday. You can get there via any number of routes: Main Street MAX, 27, 54, 123, 142, 173, etc.

Be sure to get a transfer. (If purchase a ticket or if you are using a Metro monthly pass or a Metro day pass, tell your Metro driver, “I need a transfer to The JO.”)

At 1:05 (or thereabouts), board The JO’s Route 672-M (Midday) bus at the Crown Center Square, across from the fountain.

(You can also board at 10th and Main at 12:58 pm.) Swipe your Metro transfer through the farebox, just as you do on a Metro bus, and settle in for a one-hour ride. You’ll find the JO bus to be clean and comfortable, and the driver courteous and helpful.

After a sprint along I-35 you’ll go south on Roe through Roeland Park, west along Johnson Drive through Mission (take note of The JO’s new Mission Transit Center under construction at 4851 Johnson Drive), south on Metcalf past Downtown Overland Park, and pause at Metcalf South Shopping Center (where you could, if you wanted to, see a movie at Glenwood Arts Theater), and west on 95th Street to Oak Park Mall.

You’ll arrive at Oak Park Mall about 2:02.

Once at OPM you can (1) Shop, (2) Window-shop, or (3) Eat at the food court or one of the other eateries in or near the mall.

Transit Schedule at Oak Park Mall

Eventually, even though you might not want to, you’ll need to go back home. Fortunately The JO has several buses that will take you back to Missouri.

Route 670-L (South Johnson County Express) will get you back to Crown Center in practically no time at all: it leaves the OPM park-and-ride lot at 4:18, 4:49, 5:19, and 5:49, and the return trip takes about 30 minutes. (You can also return via Route 575, which takes you to Waldo or 75th and Troost.) Last buses back to Missouri are the 670 at 5:49 and the 575 at 5:50. After that, your coach has turned into a pumpkin, and you’ll have to call a friend or a taxi — or start walking.

Note: You got to OPM on your Metro transfer. The JO accepts a Metro transfer, but not a Metro monthly pass or day pass. You’ll need to pay a regular fare to The JO to return.  Regular fare is $2.00 for adults, $1.50 for seniors (with any ID that shows your date of birth). Kids 5 and under ride free, and kids 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. If you don’t have a Metro monthly pass or day pass for your onward travel once you return to Missouri, be sure to tell your JO driver “I need a transfer to the Metro.” The Metro accepts The JO transfers.

Easy, right? You’ll have kept cool for an afternoon while experiencing one of the region’s biggest shopping malls, and you’ll have become one of the relatively few transit riders in the region who can say that they’ve ridden The JO.

So what’s keeping you? Give it a try and let us know what great fun you have!

P.S. The 672-M Midday bus is on the Johnson County Transit list of proposed eliminations for 2013.

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Model Trains are a Great Excuse for a Transit Adventure

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 21, 2012


Model Railroad Experience

Union Station has just the thing for kids of all ages: The Model Railroad Experience.

Model Railroad Experience at Union Station

We stopped in recently for a peek and were impressed.  More than 40 trains of all the popular gauges (N, HO, S, O, and G) were running through carefully detailed cities and towns in one of the largest model railroad displays in the country.  Enter free with Union Station membership, or with a small donation (suggested $2 for adults, $1 for kids).

Model Railroad Experience is an expanded version of the Holiday Season exhibit that previously had to be reconstructed each year.  It is open daily 9:30 to 5:00.

There are other kid-friendly attractions nearby, too, both at Union Station or at Crown Center:  Science City, Kaleidoscope, Coterie Theater, ice skating at Crown Center, etc.  Coming soon to Crown Center are Lego Land (spring) and Sea Life (summer).

Fortunately, it’s easy to get to the Union Station / Crown Center area by transit:

From Johnson County – We suggest Route 672 – Midday from Johnson County Community College, Oak Park Mall, Metcalf South, or 6000 Lamar transit hub in Mission.  Arrive at Union Station shortly after 1:00 pm.  Return via one of the many afternoon commuter routes that stop on Main outside Union Station, or at Crown Center on Grand.  http://www.thejo.com/routes/672.shtml

From the Northland, take Route 142 – North Oak, which operates hourly Monday through Saturday. http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/routes/142_north_oak/

Model Railroad Experience at Union Station

From the south, Main Street MAX gets you there from Waldo, Brookside, the Plaza, and Midtown. http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/routes/mainmax/

From the southeast there’s Route 28 – Blue Ridge from Hickman Mills and Blue Ridge Crossing. http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/routes/28_blue_ridge/

From the east there’s Route 24 from Independence along Independence Avenue. http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/routes/24_independence/

Find additional transit travel options using Google Transit or call the Regional Transit Information Center, 221-0660. http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/trip_planner/

So get busy and plan a transit adventure to Union Station and Crown Center for the kids in our life — including the kids who are way up in double-digits.

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A Transit Adventure to a Movie Musical and Art Museum

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 6, 2011


Carlsen Center at JCCC

You are looking for a classic movie musical for free. You want to visit a free beautiful art museum.  You want to use Johnson County Transit (AKA “The JO”) to get there. Here is the “Transit Adventure to a Movie Musical and Museum” deal for you!

Art work at Yardley Hall

Johnson County Community College is offering a free Wednesday morning film series during June at Yardley Hall in the Carlsen Center on campus.  Films begin at 10:00 am.

The films are:

June 8 – Kiss Me Kate

June 15 – Gigi

June 22 – Bye Bye Birdie

June 27 – West Side Story

Art work in the Nerman Museum "Some/One"

More information: JCCC Summer Movie Musicals

After the movie you can enjoy the art work on display just a few steps away at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Have lunch at Cafe Tempo at the Nerman, or at the food court in the Student Center, and explore the campus.

The "Tired Beast" at JCCC

Sure, you could drive there, but we encourage you to give The JO a try.

Since we want to encourage transit ridership throughout the region, here are sample itineraries from locations in Missouri:  Crown Center, The Plaza, and Waldo:

Crown Center

Depart from the bus shelter at 2345 Grand (NE corner of Pershing and Grand) via Route 660(A) at 7:45 or 8:15 am.  Use your Metro transfer or pay $2.00 cash fare.

Arrive at Carlsen Center 75 minutes later, in plenty of time for coffee and the movie.

Depart from Carlsen Center via Route 660(A) at 3:05, 3:35, or 4:00, arriving at 2345 Grand about 68 minutes later.

Plaza

Depart from Northbound MAX stop next to Tennis Courts via Route 556 at 7:53 am. Use your Metro transfer or pay $2.00 fare.  Arrive at 6000 Lamar Transfer Center about 20 minutes later and transfer to Route 660(A) at 8:22 am.

Arrive at Carlsen Center in plenty of time for coffee and the movie at 10:00.

Depart from Carlsen Center via Route 660(A) at 4:00.  Pay $2.00 cash fare and ask for a transfer.  Arrive at 6000 Lamar in time to transfer to Route 556(H), departing from 6000 Lamar via Route 556(H) at 4:45 pm and arriving at Plaza about 17 minutes later.

Johnson County Transit Route 575 connects with KCATA's MAX at Waldo

Waldo

Depart from Waldo MAX stop at 74th and Broadway at 7:35 am.  (Note: This is a small bus.)  Use your Metro transfer or pay $2.00 fare.

Arrive at Carlsen Center in plenty of time for coffee and the movie at 10:00.

Depart from Carlsen Center via Route 875 at 12:11 or 1:41 pm, and arrive at Waldo MAX stop about 70 minutes later.

Fares

Regular fares are $1.50 (Metro) and $2.00 (The JO).  We suggest you use MAX or another Metro route to reach the above departure points.  Pay the regular Metro fare, ask for a transfer, and use that transfer to board the JCT bus for your trip to JCCC.  For the return trip in the afternoon, pay the regular $2.00 fare and use your transfer to board MAX or any other Metro bus.

Map of transit service to and from JCCC

Verify times or check other departures at TheJO.

Give it a try.  And let us know how it went. TransActionKC@gmail.com

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Jump on The Truman Trolley in Independence for Great Experiences at a Great Price

Posted by Transit Action Network on September 10, 2010


Independence is full of great attractions and historic sites. You can ride the Truman Trolley all day for $1 (unlimited boardings) Monday through Saturday until October 2 (children 5 and under ride free).

Stop at any or all of these attractions:

National Frontier Trails Museum and Chicago and Alton Depot, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and Truman Home, Vaile Victorian Mansion, 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home and Truman Visitors Center, Mormon Visitors Center and ‘Community of Christ Headquarters, Clinton’s Soda Fountain and Independence Square.

If you aren’t in Independence you can get the Trolley from Union Station for either a full day or half-day transit adventure.  Call the day before to make a reservation and the Trolley will pick you up at Union Station, take you to Independence, deliver you around Independence all day and then take you back to Union Station all for the same $1!!!

Pickups from Union Station are at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm. Returns from Clinton’s Soda Fountain to Union Station are at 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm.  Remember advance reservations are needed for the Union Station connection.

Find out more about the TRUMAN TROLLEY here.

For additional information or reservations call 816-512-5555 or go to www.visitindependence.com

To combine this transit adventure with public transit options check the KCATA trip planner at www.kcata.org

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Let’s Tweet Up Transit!!!

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 19, 2010


The JO's Route 575 connects with KCATA's MAX at Waldo

Announcing Transit Action Network’s first occasional Tweet Up Transit Sweepstakes.

If you care about transit like we care about transit, let’s get on the bus and tweet about it.  Specifically, let’s ride and tweet about The JO’s new and expanded service routes, plus Route M (AKA, the Route of the Dinosaurs). https://transactionkc.com/2010/07/20/take-the-jo-to-the-jurassic/

There’s a prize at stake.

Here’s how it works:

Between now and Friday, September 3, ride any of the following Johnson County Transit routes and then tweet about it.

+ Route 556 / 856 – Metcalf Plaza (135th and Metcalf to the Plaza and Cleaver Blvd and Troost)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/556.pdf

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/856.pdf

+ Route 575 / 875 – 75th Street (KU Edwards and JCCC to Waldo)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/575.pdf

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/875.pdf

+ Route 664 – Metcalf Downtown (135th and Metcalf to Downtown Kansas City)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/664.pdf

+ Route M / 672 – Midday (Great Mall and Olathe to Downtown Kansas City and Union Station)

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/maps/Route_M.pdf

Tell us which route you rode and a little about your experience.  Most important, include our Twitter name @transactionkc (so it’ll show up on our Twitter timeline), plus the hashtag #thejo.  For each day that you tweet we’ll enter you into a drawing for a big prize.  There are 15 days — including weekends, when you can’t ride but you can still tweet — so you can have up to 15 chances to win.

At the end we’ll post all of the tweets — or at least the best ones — on our blog.  And we’ll award the prize.

So come on, let’s get out there and ride.  And tweet!  (Employees of Johnson County Transit, KCATA, and MARC are encouraged to enter but are not eligible to win.)

Oh, yeah — the prize.  The prize will be a 10-ride pass on The JO.  We know, that’s not a very impressive prize.  But hey, you think we’re millionaires?  😉

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Seamless Transit, Transit Adventures | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Take The JO to the Jurassic

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 20, 2010


This monster announces the "Dinosaurs Unearthed" exhibit from its post outside Union Station...

...while inside Union Station, this animatronic Dilophosaurus greets visitors with a friendly roar.

There’s a dinosaur exhibit at Union Station, “Dinosaurs Unearthed”     http://www.dino.unionstation.org/

Kids love dinosaurs, right?  And there just happens to be a bus from Johnson County right to Union Station, Route M.

Put it all together and what to you get?  A great “Transit Adventure” from Johnson County to see the dinosaurs.  Or to see the kid-friendly attractions at Crown Center like Kaleidoscope, or the ever-popular fountain at Crown Center Square.

Johnson County Transit, “The JO” is primarily a commuter bus system, with morning and afternoon trips to and from Downtown Kansas City.  If you have transit needs between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, you’ve been pretty much out of luck – except for Route M (AKA Route 672), a little-known route that makes a single round trip from Olathe to Downtown Kansas City and back in the middle of the day.

Route M, “Midday,” is your key to taking half-day trips to and from points in Kansas City from Johnson County.  It serves several major park-and-ride locations in Johnson County on the way to Downtown Kansas City, Union Station, and Crown Center:

+ Great Mall of the Great Plains

+ Downtown Olathe

+ Johnson County Community College

+ Oak Park Mall Shopping Center

+ Metcalf South Shopping Center

+ 6000 Lamar Transit Center

From one of these locations you can take a morning commuter bus to Union Station to see the dinosaurs and return via Route M (leaving from Union Station shortly after 1:00 pm), or take Route M to Union Station and return via one of the afternoon commuter routes.

We’ve prepared a summary schedule of some of the buses you can take in combination with Route M. (bus schedule to see the dinosaurs ) Other routes are also available, but we’ve chosen the ones that probably work for most people.

Round up the kids, head for one of The JO’s park-and-ride lots, and take The JO to Union Station for an adventure into the Jurassic (Closed Mondays)

Fares:  Regular fare on The JO is $2.00 for adults, $1.50 for kids 6-17, and free for kids 5 and under.

For extra adventure, you can transfer from The JO to MAX or another Metro bus to visit other attractions up and down the MAX corridor stretching from Waldo on the south to Downtown and River Market on the north.  Your JO driver can give you a transfer good for 2 hours on any Metro route.  For your return, pay the regular fare on the Metro ($1.50 for adults, 75 cents for kids 6-17) and get a transfer that’s good on The JO.

So get out there and have a Transit Adventure.  And post a comment on our blog to let us know how it went.

Note: Future adventurers and world travelers need to be familiar with 24-hour clock time, so we have used it on our schedule:  08:00 = 8:00 am, 16:07 = 4:07 pm, 20:10 = 8:10 pm (There is a 12 hour difference between “pm” times and the 24-hour clock; “am” times are the same) The JO buses operate only Monday through Friday.  We’ve made every effort to provide accurate schedule information, but schedules change from time to time.  We suggest you check The JO’s website – www.thejo.com – or call the regional transit information center, 221-0660, for the latest information.


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Inaugurating the New Johnson County Transit Service

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 9, 2010


Margie prepares to board Route M bus at 10th and Main

Ron and Margie board Route 856 bus at 6000 Lamar transit center

Hear!  Hear!  There is good news for regional transit…  as of July 6, 2010 the range of transit possibilities to and from Johnson County and Kansas City, MO just got a whole lot bigger!

The JO’s Route M, the midday route that makes a single round trip from Olathe to Downtown and back, plus NEW Routes 856 and 875 opened up opportunities for KC residents to get to Oak Park Mall and Metcalf South Shopping Center, Johnson County Community College (including the Carlsen Center for the Performing Arts and the Nerman Museum) and KU Edwards Campus throughout the day.  And for Johnson County residents, the new routes improve access to the Plaza, the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper Museums of Art, UMKC, Union Station and Crown Center, and Downtown Kansas City via MAX from Waldo or from the Plaza.

On July 6, Margie and Ron celebrated the launch of this new transit service in Johnson County by being among its first riders.  We selected a relatively short loop trip beginning and ending at 10th and Main Transit Center in Downtown Kansas City.  Margie arrived there via ATA Route 129 from Boardwalk Square in Platte County, and Ron arrived via ATA’s MAX route from Midtown.

We used our Metro transfers to board The JO’s Route M at 1:00, and got off at the Transfer Center at 6000 Lamar in Mission. Here we had easy walking access to the Johnson County Administrative Center, Powell Community Center, and several restaurants and retail shops. The NEW Route 856 Metcalf Flex bus arrived early and Don, the driver, snapped a photo of us boarding.  He, too, was celebrating his new assignment!!

Just imagine  –  Route 856 riders have access to everything along Metcalf from 63rd to 135th streets!!  We got off at 75th Street  –  the site of Walgreen’s and CVS among the retail options.  Did you know that more than 65 buses pass by 75th and Metcalf every weekday?

Soon we boarded the NEW eastbound Route 875 Flex bus with Paul at the wheel.  And we were off to Waldo and our next transfer onto the MAX at Wornall and 75th where you’ll find good places to eat  –  unique roof top dining at The Well, “traditionals” such as Waldo Pizza, and Coffee Girls’ new location is just a block west near 75th Street Brewery.  The retail shopping excels, also!

The JO’s Routes 856 and 875 are something new for the Kansas City area: “route deviation” transit.  They follow set routes on a fixed schedule, but the driver can go off-route to pick up or drop off riders who have called a day in advance.

Routes 856 and 875 complement Routes 556 and 575 that operate during the morning and evening commute periods.  These buses travel the same route but don’t go off-route.  Since both connect to MAX, it’s possible for more people to get to and from work and school.  Now, they and many more residents of the region have access to health care, shopping, and a variety of restaurants along these routes throughout the day!

Ron sent a few “tweets” along the way.  Read them at http://twitter.com/transactionkc.

Margie Richcreek reporting

"OH, there is the bus stop"

Ron "tweets' about the experience at the Waldo MAX stop

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Transit Adventure: A Trip to Harry’s Town via KCATA and Amtrak

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 18, 2010



Jayson lives in Midtown Kansas City.  A few months ago he decided to go carless, and he started a blog, http://www.carfreeinkc.com, to write about his experiences.  He posts occasional reports about his transit adventures, and we especially like the one about a trip he and a friend took from Kansas City to Independence (KCATA Route 24 from Downtown) and return via Amtrak to Union Station.  It’s a pretty easy half-day trip, but you will probably want to make train reservations in advance, http://www.amtrak.com, to avoid an extra charge.  Amtrak fare is generally $8 for adults (second adult and senior tickets are less) and $4 for kids 2-15.  Here’s his account of the trip:

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