Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Archive for the ‘Videos-Transit’ Category

Video – KC Streetcar Expansion Election Watch and Mayor’s Speech

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 6, 2014


Mayor Sly James addressed a crowd of streetcar supporters after the August 5th election to create a Transportation Development District failed. The district would have been used to fund the Streetcar Expansion Project. Although the plan did not get voter support, the mayor feels that the city will expand the streetcar system in the future. He feels once people see the Downtown Streetcar their ideas will change. Mayor James says “This issue is not over”.  Watch his complete remarks here.streetcar

Final Vote –  No 60%, Yes 40%

 

 

 

 

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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.

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

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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 »

Save The JO – Video #6 – The Solution – Interview with Steve Klika

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 27, 2012


Steve Klika, Chair of the Strategic Transit Action Recommendation Taskforce (START) spoke with Transit Action Network about the 2011 recommendations of this Taskforce. Steve has a long-term commitment to transit. He is the Johnson County representative on the KCATA Board of Commissioners and former Chair of the Johnson County Transportation Council.

Although the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners is currently struggling with its commitment to transit and the transit budget, this Taskforce provided recommendations to implement a phased-in comprehensive county-wide transit system based on the Johnson County Transit Strategic Plan. The Taskforce also provided a list of financing options. Johnson County residents developed this plan specifically for Johnson County.

The long-term transit solution for Johnson County already exists. We ask the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners to move forward with this transit plan rather than dismantling The JO over the next two years. Please begin by rejecting the proposed plan to eliminate or reduce 90% of the routes in 2013.  We believe Johnson County is moving in the wrong direction and deserves an excellent transit system on par with the rest of Johnson County services.

START_Final_Report_2011

START_Final_Discussion_2011

Strategic Plan Prelim 2011

JO Proposed Eliminations and Reductions for 2013 – Public Meeting Presentation

The deadline for public comment is July 30, 2012. Please speak up for transit.

Contact Johnson County Board of County Commissioners

  1.  Phone: 913-715-0430
  2.  Email contact form: http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us

Contact Johnson County Transit

  1. E-mail: Comments@thejo.com
  2. Mail: Johnson County Transit, 1701 West 56 Highway, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  3. Phone: 913-715-8255 – record your message

See all of our articles and videos related to this issue. The articles started on June 8 with  Save The JO – Contact JOCO Commissioners and the videos are all on our TAN Videos page. Everything is also collected on our Facebook event page for Save The JO.

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Save The JO – Videos #4 and #5 Interviews with Johnson County Commissioners

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 22, 2012


Johnson County Commissioners Eilert and Peterson spoke with Transit Action Network about the eliminations and reductions proposed for January 2013 to The JO.

The commissioners have very different views on:

  • the role of transit in Johnson County
  • how to fund transit
  • how to respond to citizens’ vision for multi-modal transportation, sustainability and a better environment
  • the County’s commitment to the working poor who need The JO to get to work

Can Johnson County afford a small commuter transit system only if it is heavily subsidized by federal and state funds? We wouldn’t expect that to be the case from one of the richest counties in America*. It is the loss of federal and state funds, and the Commission’s current failure to replace those funds, that is causing the severe budget problems that will mainly hit in 2014.

One way to deal with the loss of the federal and state money is to eliminate and reduce most of the transit routes in Johnson County over a couple of years. The other way is to get the money and keep the transit.

Everyone from JCT staff to Commissioner Eilert said they are proposing cuts in 2013 so they don’t have such large cuts in 2014.  Unless Johnson County changes direction, they aren’t done shrinking the transit system. They say they trying to ease in the cuts to lessen the negativity that would result from doing it all at once in 2014.

Timeline for eliminations and reductions:
2012 Service reductions and modifications
2013 Proposed route eliminations (45% of all routes gone) and service reductions (45% of routes modified)
2014 Expect significant additional eliminations and/or reductions based on comments by staff and Commissioner Eilert

 

Please let the Board of County Commissioners know how important The JO is by attending the public hearing. Speakers will be allowed 3 minutes.

Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Public Budget Hearing
July 23rd @ 7 pm
Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry, Olathe, KS 66061

If you miss the meeting:

Contact Johnson County Board of County Commissioners

  1. Phone: 913-715-0430
  2. Email contact form: http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us

 Contact Johnson County Transit

  1. E-mail: Comments@thejo.com
  2. Mail: Johnson County Transit, 1701 West 56 Highway, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  3. Phone: 913-715-8255 – record your message
Deadline for public comment is July 30, 2012.
JO Public Meeting_Proposed Eliminations and Reductions for 2013
START_Final_Report_2011
START_Final_Discussion_2011
Strategic_Plan_Prelim_2011

We have numerous blog articles about this issue starting on June 8th with  Save The JO – Contact JOCO Commissioners

All of our videos are available on our TAN Videos page.

*Wealthiest Counties in The U.S. (Per Capita Income) based upon income tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service’s Individual Master File (IMF). Johnson County is listed as #42 http://www.amerifound.com/wealthiest_counties_in_america.html

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Save The JO – Video #3 Comments From the JCT Public Meeting

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 20, 2012


Johnson County Transit held a public meeting on July 11th* to discuss the proposed 2013 eliminations and reductions to 90% of The JO routes. Reductions were made to routes at the beginning of 2012 and, unless something changes in the budget forecasts, additional eliminations are expected in 2014.  Listen to the concerns and stories of some of the participants and responses from Johnson County Transit (JCT) staff. 

Transit in Johnson County is headed in the wrong direction.

Please attend:
Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Public Budget Hearing
July 23rd @ 7 pm
Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry, Olathe, KS 66061

Show your support to improve and expand The JO and tell your story to the Commissioners. Ask the Commission to support transit,  honor their commitment to replace the federal CMAQ funds for both the Connex and the 75th Street-Quivira routes, and find the necessary dedicated funding for the long-term health of transit in Johnson County.

Contact Johnson County Board of County Commissioners

  1. Phone: 913-715-0430
  2. Email contact form: http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us

 Contact Johnson County Transit

  1. E-mail: Comments@thejo.com
  2. Mail: Johnson County Transit, 1701 West 56 Highway, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  3. Phone: 913-715-8255 – record your message

Deadline for public comment is July 30, 2012.

Powerpoint presentation from the public meeting. JO_ Public_Meeting 7_2012

JCT Strategic Plan Strategic Plan 2010

START report START_Final_Report_2011

*Note: The date of the public meeting was July 11, not July 16 as shown in the video.

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Save The JO – Video #2 Interview with Chuck Ferguson of Johnson County Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 16, 2012


Chuck Ferguson is Deputy Transportation Director for Johnson County Transit. In this video Chuck explains the reasons for the proposed elimination of 9 of 20 bus routes (45% of The JO routes) and proposed modifications to another 45% of the routes. He also describes the reasoning for making so many of the cuts in 2013 instead of waiting to make the majority of the service changes in 2014 when the severe budget shortfalls are projected.  Based on the money available in the proposed 2013 budget, Johnson County Transit is proposing to make many of the service cuts a year earlier than needed.

Dismantling The JO to this extent is a budget problem not a ridership problem. Ridership is at an all time high and currently 12% higher than in 2011. If you care about the transit situation in Johnson County you must speak up.

Please attend the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Public Budget Hearing, July 23rd @ 7 pm at the  Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry, Olathe, KS 66061

If you can’t make the meeting please contact both Johnson County Transit and the Board of County Commissioners by July 30, 2012.

Contact Johnson County Board of County Commissioners

  1.  Phone: 913-715-0430
  2. Email contact form: http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us
 Contact Johnson County Transit
  1. E-mail: Comments@thejo.com
  2. Mail: Johnson County Transit, 1701 West 56 Highway, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  3. Phone: 913-715-8255 – record your message

See our first video and read our earlier articles for more information.  Save the JO – Video #1

Save The JO – Contact JOCO CommissionersSpeak Out Against Proposed JO Service Cuts, and Attend The Public Meetings July 9 and 11 — “Save The JO!”

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Save The JO — Video #1 Interview with JO Rider Henry Fortunato

Posted by Transit Action Network on July 9, 2012


Transit Action Network plans to produce several videos related to the Johnson County Transit proposed service reductions and modifications for January 2013. This video is the first in our series. Henry Fortunato, Director of Public Affairs for the Kansas City Public Library and a JO rider, discusses his personal views and concerns about the situation. (This is not the stated position of the Kansas City Public Library)

Please contact Johnson County Transit and the County Commissioners to stop these “voluntary cuts”.  See our previous articles for more information. Save The JO – Contact JOCO CommissionersSpeak Out Against Proposed JO Service Cuts, and Attend The Public Meetings July 9 and 11 — “Save The JO!”

Join our Facebook event page “Save The JO” to discuss what is happening and share your actions and ideas. On the event page you will already see comments about riders losing the ability to get to work and the artwork from children of the Westwood Christian Church in Johnson County who drew pictures to remind the adults to make calls to Save The JO. Have a look. Get involved!

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Consultant Discusses the Preliminary Costs, Ridership and Time-Savings Estimates For The JCCCAA

Posted by Transit Action Network on May 29, 2012


Lisa Koch, senior planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, returns to discuss the Jackson County Corridor Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA). Parsons Brinckerhoff released the first wave of quantitative information about the study at an open house the end of April. Lisa brings us up-to-date with the study and why several of the alternatives have been eliminated including the original Regional Rapid Rail commuter rail proposal. That alternative used existing rail right-of-ways in the east and southeast of the county and new track on city streets, including Truman Road, to terminate at the Freight House District, north of Union Station.

Click to Enlarge

Lisa describes the replacement commuter rail proposal, which terminates in the Third and Grand area. She provides information about the remaining alternatives in both the East (I-70) Corridor and the Southeast Corridor (the unused Rock Island right-of-way). For these preliminary estimates, Lisa comments on the high costs, low ridership numbers and the fact that the fixed guideway alternatives don’t provide any time savings over the highways by 2035.

Lisa describes the “right-sizing “ efforts the team is making to fine-tune the alternatives based on what they have learned.  When the alternatives have been revised, the partnership team, consisting of Jackson County, Kansas City, KCATA and MARC, will decide on a Locally Preferred Alternative, (LPA).

At the end of the interview Lisa discusses the economic development numbers for the rail alternative that were presented at the open house. MARC estimated these numbers as a 10% increase on the assessment value of existing properties within a ½ mile radius of the proposed rail stations.

Using property appreciation as a proxy for development around rail stations is a common methodology. This is not an estimate of the impact on jobs or sales tax revenue, but rather the appreciation benefits that existing property owners might see if their property is near a station. It does not represent a net benefit. It does not take into account decreases in property values commonly experienced by property owners between stations and by upper bracket residences near a rail line.

There are also concerns that rail does not create development, it merely moves development from one area to another, next to a rail line. There are some conditions in which appreciation does not occur, in particular, in areas with unlimited ability to sprawl. Property appreciation can be very large – or zero, depending on the circumstances.

TAN believes it is desirable to concentrate activity around stations of any type, bus or rail. Areas with transit-oriented (not created) development are highly desirable, exciting, well-integrated places to work, live, shop and play that make transit investments more cost-effective.  However, after the initial construction investment, successful economic development relies on many factors besides having a station.

For a better understanding of economic development related to property appreciation for transit, read this report by the National Association of Realtors.

Public Transit Boosts Property Values, If Conditions are Right

To view the display boards for the third open house, go to the project website, KCSmartMoves.

Transit Action Network previously reported on the JCCCAA Open House #3.  Read our evaluation of the current information: High Cost Combined with Low Ridership and Insignificant Time-Savings Hurts Rail in the Commuter Corridors Study

To follow the whole study, see the rest of our video series at TAN Videos on our website. The third interview discusses the DMU rail lines east of I-435.

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Link to the second interview: Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

Link to the third interview: Discussion About The Regional Rail Alternative for the JCCCAA

Link to the fourth interview: Enhanced Streetcar/DMU/BRT Combinations Are Discussed

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Watch the “KC Streetcar Stroll” Video, Attend the Public Meetings & Request Your Streetcar Ballot

Posted by Transit Action Network on May 12, 2012


Kansas City conducted a “Streetcar Stroll” from the River Market to Union Station on May 9th.  About 35 participants were divided into small groups to walk the proposed 2.2 mile route with a guide to describe the proposed station areas and explain the proposed operating method for the streetcar. Video: Part 1 – Interviews with participants. Part 2 – Descriptions of the stations and the operations.

The city is holding three public meetings to explain the streetcar operation and answer questions. Kansas City wants voters in the proposed Transportation Development District (TDD) to understand the project.

TDD Map – Click to Enlarge

The public meetings are from 4-7 p.m with brief presentations at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 15, Helzburg Auditorium, Central Library, 14 W. 10th Street

Wednesday, May 16, Atrium, Steamboat Arabia Museum, 400 Grand Boulevard

Thursday, May 17, Arthur Stilwell Room, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road

The initial ballot to create the TDD is a mail-in ballot, but you MUST request a ballot by May 22. No Request=No Ballot. So if you live in the proposed TDD, request your ballot today! Ballot requests will be available at the public meetings. Remind your transit friends in the proposed TDD to submit their ballot request.

1. Print the ballot application at http://www.16thcircuit.org/streetcar

2. Print your registration status kceb.org (Use the check your voter status box at the top of the page. This document is used to validate you request.)

3. Send (hand-deliver, fax, mail) both documents to the court address (or fax number) on the application.

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Enhanced Streetcar/DMU/BRT Combinations Are Discussed

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 24, 2012


The Partnership Team and consultants added eight additional alternatives to the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA).  In the final interview of this series, Lisa Koch, senior planner with the lead consulting team Parsons Brinckerhoff, discusses these alternatives which include various combinations of three transit modes; Enhanced Streetcar, Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Maps of all the combinations are available below.

Lisa also describes the traffic control elements being planned for an Enhanced Streetcar to travel on the streets and how these elements differ from the ones used by the Regional Rail DMU alternative discussed in the previous interview.

For a closer look at the display board Lisa uses during the interview, see JCCCAA display-board-nov 2011 or print page 11 of the second open house display boards. JCCCAA-open-house-display-boards-nov 2011

Summary of JCCCAA Streetcar/DMU/BRT combinations being studied

Click to enlarge

Maps of all the Streetcar/DMU/BRT Combinations

A. Enhanced Streetcar/DMU – Linwood Alternative

B. Enhanced Streetcar (ALL) – Linwood Alternative

C. Enhanced Streetcar/DMU – Truman Road Alternative

D. Enhanced Streetcar (ALL) – Truman Road Alternative

E. BRT/DMU – Linwood Alternative

F. BRT (ALL) – LinwoodAlternative

G. BRT/DMU – Truman Road Alternative

H. BRT (ALL) – Truman Road Alternative

An alternatives analysis requires a substantial amount of work to evaluate the possible transit solutions for a corridor. The analysis includes a complex comparison process to decide which alternative is the best fit for our region at this time. Lisa has agreed to visit with TAN again to update us on status of the study and provide insight into the FTA process used to rate the alternatives.

TAN appreciates Tom Gerend of MARC and Lisa Koch of Parsons Brinckerhoff, along with Shockey Consulting and TranSystems, for making all of this information available to our viewers.

The next open house is March 13 -15 going to be re-scheduled.

Traffic Control Elements for RAIL on Streets in the JCCCAA

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Link to the second interview: Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

Link to the third interview: Discussion About The Regional Rail Alternative for the JCCCAA

Project website:  KCSmartMoves

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Discussion About The Regional Rail Alternative for the JCCCAA

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 20, 2012


In the third of our four interviews, Lisa Koch, senior planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, discusses the Regional Rail alternatives for the Southeast Corridor (the unused Rock Island line through Raytown and Lee’s Summit) and the Eastern I-70 Corridor (the underutilized Kansas City Southern line through Blue Springs).

Diesel Multiple Unit -DMU

Lisa describes the routes being considered, along with traffic control elements that would be required by the Federal Railroad Administration for a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train to use new rail on the streets of Kansas City and Independence to reach a commuter rail terminal in the Freight House District, north of Union Station.

For a closer look at the display board Lisa uses during the interview, see JCCCAA display-board-nov2011 or print page 11 of the second open house display boards. JCCCAA-Open-House-Display-Boards-Nov2011


Following is the proposed map for the Regional Rail system being studied in the Southeastern and Eastern Corridors of Jackson County. MP (Mile Point) is the distance in miles from Union Station.

Click To Enlarge


Details of all the alternatives are changing as the study continues.

The Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis is scheduled for completion in late Spring 2012.

Our fourth interview, covering combinations of streetcars, DMU and BRT, will be posted later this week.

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Link to the second interview: Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

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Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 17, 2012


Lisa Koch, a senior planner with the lead consulting firm for the study, Parsons Brinckerhoff,  discusses three of the alternatives being studied in the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA) with Transit Action Network.

No Build

Transportation Systems Management

Enhanced Express Bus (part of TSM)

Lisa also describes the travel demand model used to estimate ridership for each mode in the study’s forecast year of 2035.

The study is in the second phase, called Tier Two, where a detailed analysis of the remaining alternatives is conducted and the alternatives are narrowed down to come up with a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). The study is scheduled to be completed in late Spring 2012.

http://vimeo.com/36946225

This map is the current proposed map of the Enhanced Express Bus System. It has different colors to represent the different express bus services being considered. Some services are new. PR stands for Park and Ride lots. The map is subject to change.

In 2007 there was an I-70 Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA).  In the Summary Report the consultant’s near-term recommendation was to improve the Express Bus system. The AA also studied the underutilized Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railroad line. In that study, the KCS line traveled to the Knoche Rail Yard and then new rail  was needed from there (near the Missouri River) up to Third St. and Grand.  In another variation the KCS line connected to the Trench, the Kansas City Terminal Railroad tracks that run past Union Station. Neither of those rail alternatives were recommended in 2007 and both of those options were eliminated from the current study in the Tier One evaluation.

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

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MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 15, 2012


Last week Transit Action Network sat down with Tom Gerend, Assistant Director of Transportation and Project Manager at Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), and Lisa Koch, Senior Planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff,  in a series of four video interviews to discuss the Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis currently underway in Jackson County.

MARC is on the Partnership Team overseeing the study and Parsons Brinckerhoff is the lead consulting firm conducting the study.

Transit Action Network believes this is a good time to bring everyone up to date since the last public open house was the end of November 2011. The next open house won’t be held until after the Stakeholders Advisory Panel on March 6. (update-the third open house will be March 13-15 rescheduled)

These interviews provide background on the study as well as the current information about the three corridors and the multitude of alternatives being studied.

Keep in mind that none of the alternatives have been chosen to implement at this point and the situation changes as new information becomes available and decisions are made. Since the last open house, more analysis has been done and another alternative has been eliminated. Consultants and engineers continue to look for the best solutions to challenges presented by the options.

Join us on this first interview with Tom for an introduction to the series and background on the study.

The study website is KCSmartMoves.org

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