Transit Action Network (TAN)

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

Posts Tagged ‘The JO’

Transit Talk Feb 10 – Car Free By Choice in KC on 90.1FM KKFI

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 9, 2015

KKFI 90.1 FMWhat would happen if you decided to get rid of your car? Could you get around town on public transit? Why are people choosing a lifestyle without a car? How effective is public transit for getting around the region?

Find out what it is like to be “Car Free by Choice in Kansas City” as Sarah Madrid, David Johnson and Mike Lewyn discuss their reasoning for being car free and their experiences on Transit Talk with host Janet Rogers of Transit Action Network.

Where: RadioActive Magazine, 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio

When: Tuesday Feb 10 @ 6 PM

Listen to the podcast

Many people don’t have a car because they lack the money to support a car or they have a physical impairment which keeps them from driving. Being without a car can be difficult. However, more and more people are deciding to turn in their keys and say goodbye to the costs and hassles of having a car.

Join us on Tuesday to hear from three people who made the decision to go without a car. Find out how they manage.

Sarah Madrid, grew up in KC and returned after a career in the US Foreign Service where she lived car free for many years in foreign countries.

Mike Lewyn recently moved to KC and brings a fresh evaluation of our city’s public transit network. He teaches law at UMKC.

David Johnson, a local transit advocate and member of the Streetcar Authority has been car free in KC for many years.

If you aren’t very familiar with the transit system but want to try it, there is a trip planner on the KCATA website that will tell you what you need to know to get from your current location (or a beginning location) to your destination. or call (816) 221-0660 for help. Wyandotte County, Johnson County and Independence buses all use this same trip planner.

Google maps allows you to plan your trip, you just have to click on the bus icon.

You can look up additional information for The JO  (As of February 1, 2015 KCATA manages The JO)

The Independence IndeBus

Information on all of the Unified Government Transit (UGT) buses is available at Some additional information is available at

If you know your KCATA bus route then this website helps by showing you the current location of your bus. Just click on your route and all the locations for the buses on that route will be displayed. This information is available on a regular phone with internet capability. A smart phone is not necessary.

You can try out all of the apps suggested on the KCATA app center to find out which one you like best.

Rider guides for new riders


The JO


If you have additional questions contact the transit agencies

KCATA, The JO and UGT call center (816) 221-0660

IndeBus 816-461-4287 (IBUS)

You can contact Transit Action Network at

Our next Transit Talk on Radio Active Magazine is MARCH 31.


Posted in Local Transit Issues, Regional Transit Issue | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Hearings On JCT Fare Increase – Feb 12 and 14

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 11, 2013

Johnson County Transit is proposing a fare increase effective April 15, 2013. Public meetings are being held this week.


Tuesday, February 12 from 7 am to 8 am 
Thursday, February 14  from 5: 30 pm  to 6:30 pm


Sylvester Powell Community Center (meeting room C)
6200 Martway
Mission, KS 66202

Additional comments can be made through March 15 by:

Phone: 913-715-8255 to leave a recorded message


Proposed Fare increase Comments
Johnson County Transit
1701 West 56 Highway
Olathe, Kansas 66061

 Proposed Fare Increases

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Proposed cash fares increases are 50 cents for K-10 and 25 cents for most other routes.

There is an anomaly though because the proposed cash fare increase for Route 812/Jo Flex is $1.25, which is significantly more than the other fare increases. Low-income people living in HUD section 8 housing in Overland Park mainly use this route to get groceries, medicines and other basic needs.  We discussed this route in our Title VI claim dealing with the service cuts. Johnson County does not classify this route as low-income but TAN disagrees. This fare increase appears to place a disproportionate burden on the low-income people who use this route.

Here are the percentage increases to the base cash fares.

K-10 has a 16.7% increase – JCT has identified the K-10 route as both a minority and low-income route

Most Jo routes have a 12.5% increase

Route 812/Jo Flex  has a 125% increase

Equity – Although it is obvious that JCT is proposing that all the non K-10 routes have the same base fare of $2.25, we are concerned that this could create an Environmental Justice issue. We will have to see if the FTA decides that Route 812/Jo Flex is indeed a low-income route.  Different modes of transit service may have different fares without being discriminatory.  Route 812/Jo Flex mainly serves low-income people two days a week for 4 hours, so it hardly seems fair to increase their base fare 125% just to make it the same as the standard and commuter express routes for daily commuters. For riders of Route 812/Jo Flex over 60 years old, they can get relief from the high increase if they purchase a 10 ride reduced fare pass. However, younger low-income people will feel the full brunt of this increase.

Process – We wonder when public meetings will be held in the KCK or KCMO areas that JCT serves?  How do riders or potential riders using a reverse commute and needing a northbound bus after 6:30 pm, when this meeting ends, get to KCK or KCMO using transit? We hope there was a public meeting in Lawrence. Inadequate public participation was the basis of our Title VI claim for the service cuts and we see similar problems with the process for the fare increase.

Fare Structure – We question the wisdom of continuing a fare structure under which very long morning / evening commuter trips from Gardner or Olathe via I-35 have the same fare as much shorter “errand” trips on local streets, such as the 75th Street – Quivira and Metcalf – Shawnee Mission Parkway routes.  KCATA has two categories of routes — regular ($1.50 fare) and commuter (generally $3.00).

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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

Posted in Local Transit Issues, National Transit Issues | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

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:
110th and Metcalf:
Mission Transit Center:

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

For a preview of the new 556/856 schedule see page 5 of 22 in the following document:

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:)

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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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Speak Out Against Proposed JO Service Cuts

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 19, 2012

“The proposed cuts would eliminate my ability to use the bus and without a car, I’d be entirely reliant on car pooling (to get to work). It’s very disheartening.”  — TAN advocate and JO rider when she saw the proposed cuts.

Johnson County Transit (JCT) has announced proposed service changes for 2013 (2013Change0614DRAFT). They plan to eliminate 8 routes and reduce or modify 9 other routes. There is time to save The JO. This is an  “opportunity” and “challenge” for riders to organize to both save and promote their routes, but be clear that these cuts are real and potentially permanent if they aren’t stopped.  There are public meetings with the Commissioners and Johnson County Transit but if you want to have an impact ACT NOW. Even if you don’t ride The JO but you care about transit in our region, please get involved.

1.    Contact the County Commissioners

  1. Although there are public hearings later in July, the Final Fiscal Year 2013 Budget discussions for the Commissioners are July 2-3, so contact them before that (continue to contact them after July 3rd)
  2. Tell them why The JO is important to you
  3. Ask them to make a long-term commitment to improving and expanding public transit in Johnson County
  4. Ask them to maintain, not cut, The JO service in 2013, since they are not cutting the funding in 2013
  5. Contact them at the phone numbers shown below or visit their website at and send an email.
  6. If you can, contact them again for a status report
Chairman: Ed Eilert (913) 715-0500
District 1: Ed Peterson  (913) 715- 0431
District 2: Jim Allen  (913) 715-0432
District 3: David Lindstrom (913) 715-0433
District 4: Jason Osterhaus (913) 715-0434
District 5: Michael Ashcraft (913) 715-0435
District 6: Calvin Hayden  (913) 715-0436

 2.    Use Social Media to contact both Johnson County Commissioners and JCT

  5. Let them know what you think about the proposed transit cuts
  6. Ask them to improve and expand public transit, not shrink it!

3.    Comments to JCT on proposed changes can be made via e-mail, phone, mail

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

 4.    Contact your mayor or councilperson in Johnson County

  1. Tell your local officials how important The JO is to you.
  2. Ask your city officials to contact the County Commissioners and JCT to maintain, improve and expand The JO

5.    Organize your bus

  1. Sign a petition to save your bus and deliver it to Johnson County Commissioners and a copy to JCT
  2. Attend the public meetings as a group with signs and an organized presentation

6.    Write letters to the Editor of the KC Star

  2. Mail to The Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO. 64108.
  3. Letters can be up to 200 words

7.    Attend Public Hearings to be held by Johnson County Transit

a.    DATES and TIMES:

  • Monday July 9, 2012, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday July 11, 2012, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

b.    LOCATION: Sylvester Powell Community Center at 6200 Martway in Mission, Kansas. (both hearings)

  1. Ask them not to make service cuts this year, since the budget doesn’t require it. These are “voluntary” cuts at this point. Don’t make major service cuts that aren’t absolutely necessary.
  2. Ask them to do a better job advertising the service. Several routes have poor ridership because no one knows they exist. Example: Route 667 is underused. Except for the new map/schedule poster at 6000 Lamar, the only visible evidence of this route is when one of the buses goes past.

8. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Attend the Final FY 2013 Budget public meeting with the Board of County Commissioners

a. DATE and TIME:  Monday July 23, 2012 at 7:00 p.m

b. LOCATION: BoCC meeting room, Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry, Olathe, KS 66061

  1. Ask them to maintain The JO service level
  2. Ask them to expand and improve transit
  3. Tell them how important The JO is to people. (Without this public input, County budget cuts will be enacted for 2014 and beyond to match the reduced service levels.)

We previously described The JO’s budget problems (Save The JO – Contact JOCO Commissioners ). The 2013 budget being proposed has enough money for JCT to basically keep current service levels. Johnson County Transit (JCT) is cutting The JO service in 2013 because they’ve been told  that the money won’t be there in future years. At this point, these service reductions are mainly “voluntary”. Once the service is cut it will be much harder to get it back. We need to convince the Commissioners that one of the richest counties in the country needs to adequately fund public transit.

It will take public outcry to budge the County Commissioners and get them to reassure JCT that they will have ongoing funding to maintain service levels. The JO cuts are in response to direction from the Commissioners about the future.

A better solution involves the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners making a commitment to transit which improves and expands The JO. At present, The JO is primarily a commuter service into downtown Kansas City, but that service needs to expand to serve jobs, shopping, entertainment, education, medical and other activities within the county. Johnson County has been highly successful at attracting jobs, but it is almost impossible to get to most of those jobs by public transit. Johnson County’s lack of transit service is the main reason our region came out 90th of 100 cities in our ability to get to jobs using public transit in a 2011 Brookings Institution Report (How Our Region Should Respond to the Brookings Report). In addition to people who currently use The JO to get to work in Downtown Kansas City, more and more of the workers in Johnson County need this service to get to work.

Proposed service cuts for January 2013.

Routes Proposed for Elimination

  • Route 546/D – Johnson-Quivira
  • Route 667/E – Nall-Downtown
  • Route 669/I – KCK-Lenexa-Olathe
  • Route 672/M – JoCo-Downtown Midday
  • Route 676/P – Paola-Spring Hill-Olathe
  • Route 677/R – Downtown-Olathe
  • Route 810 – De Soto FlexRide
  • Route 816 – Spring Hill Shuttle

Routes Proposed for Service Modification and/or Reduction

  • Route 556 – Metcalf-Plaza: Modify route timing due to Transit Signal Priority; modify the 95th & Metcalf bus stop; modify service south of 119th Street.
  • Route 575 – 75th Street-Quivira: Eliminate five trips, reduce service frequency to 60 minutes during peak hours.
  • Route 660 – Antioch-Downtown: Eliminate earliest p.m. southbound trip; extend all trips to K-7 & Santa Fe.
  • Route 661 – Olathe Xpress: Adjust 5:55 a.m. northbound trip to start at 6:00 a.m.
  • Route 664 – Metcalf-Downtown: Eliminate two trips and adjust service to operate every 30 minutes, with “reverse commute” service every 60 minutes.
  • Route 670/L – Gardner-OP Xpress: Reduce “reverse commute” service and eliminate one southbound p.m. trip.
  • Route 673/N – South OP Xpress: Eliminate last southbound p.m. trip; add early southbound p.m. trip to reduce overcrowding.
  • Route 856 – Metcalf-Plaza Flex: Eliminate midday service south of 119th Street.
  • Route 875 – 75th Street-Quivira Flex: Consolidate the schedule to reduce travel time and allow less slack time for flex trips; adjust service frequency.

Additional information from the Johnson County Transportation Council meeting packet:

  • The Connex routes are being reduced with a goal to reduce service by $400,000 to ‘stretch’ the CMAQ funds through 2013. With the relocation of Wright Business College at 103rd and Metcalf, JCT had a 13% increase in ridership on the Connex routes during the first few weeks of the school term.
  • While not listed at this time, staff is also reviewing the impact of service reductions and/or elimination of the Route 812 – JO FLEX (operating within the City of Overland Park). At this point, staff’s primary concern is that Special Edition will be severely impacted by JO FLEX riders displaced by a potential reduction or elimination of the service.

Additional important JCT dates

  • July 30 – Deadline for submitting public input
  • July 30 – August 3 – JCT staff evaluate public input and prepare final service recommendations based on the estimated/proposed FY 2013 transit budget
  • August 9 – BOCC adopts FY 2013 Budget
  • August 14 – JCT staff presents final recommendations to JCTC at Council Meeting

Please contact your commissioners!!!

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Help Protect the Transit Budget in Johnson County

Posted by Transit Action Network on January 27, 2012


Johnson County Transit has already had several years of budget cuts.  This year it resulted in cutting service and changing routes. In the next two budgets they could lose an additional $700,000 or more in total, which would have a significant impact on riders and the level of transit service.

Johnson County is having focus groups to gain information from residents about how they would balance the budget. If you are a resident please attend the focus group in your district to voice your budget priorities. You must register to be included.

More information at Johnson County Residents to Voice Budget Priorities

To RSVP, contact Jennifer Wilding at or 816.531.5078. With so few spaces available, they are sure to go quickly so please get in touch soon.

If you don’t get on a focus group, please contact your commissioner and tell him how important it is to improve and expand transit service in Johnson County, and ask them not to do additional budget cuts. Transit is a basic infrastructure service and in an urban setting delivering people to jobs is like delivering gas, water and electricity.  Please help secure transit funding.

Focus group dates

The meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at a central site in each district.

Dates include:

District 1: Wednesday, February 15 (Commissioner Ed Peterson)

 District 2: Thursday, February 9 (Commissioner Jim Allen)

 District 3: Thursday, March 1 (Commissioner David Lindstrom)

 District 4: Monday, February 13 (Commissioner Jason Osterhaus)

 District 5: Monday, March 12 (Commissioner Michael Ashcraft)

 District 6: Wednesday, February 8 (Commissioner Calvin Hayden)

Posted in Action, Events, Local Transit Issues | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

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.

From the Northland, take Route 142 – North Oak, which operates hourly Monday through Saturday.

Model Railroad Experience at Union Station

From the south, Main Street MAX gets you there from Waldo, Brookside, the Plaza, and Midtown.

From the southeast there’s Route 28 – Blue Ridge from Hickman Mills and Blue Ridge Crossing.

From the east there’s Route 24 from Independence along Independence Avenue.

Find additional transit travel options using Google Transit or call the Regional Transit Information Center, 221-0660.

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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June 13 – WHY KC Region Ranked 90th of 100 and What To Do About It

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 8, 2011

The MARC TRANSIT COMMITTEE is sponsoring a Special Forum to present the study and the findings on the Brookings Institution Report

Presenter: Brookings’ co-author Elizabeth Kneebone

When: June 13 at 1:30 pm

Where:  Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, Paseo Room-changed to Town Square Room, 4801 Rockhill Road. Kansas City, Mo 64110

This forum will focus on the report Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America which ranks the top 100 cities for transit access to jobs. Following the presentation, there will be an open discussion on current transit initiatives and the crafting of a regional response to this report. This meeting is open to the public.

Brookings divided the metro area into the CITY and the SUBURBS. The CITY is defined as both the city of Kansas City and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. Everything else in the metro is the SUBURBS. Unfortunately the suburbs in their study go so far out that a lot of rural area is included.

The report evaluates the ability of people within ¾ mile of a transit stop or station to get to work in 90 minutes using public transit. Brookings is measuring if transit is even possible to take to work. We don’t fully agree with Brookings approach, for instance many people in the suburbs who live farther than ¾ mile from a transit stop have transit access to work using park and ride lots.

Even with our concerns about the report, it does point out the seriousness of our transit situation. 80% of the CITY has transit coverage but only 25% of the jobs in the metro area are accessible by that transit. The report says only 33% of the suburbs have transit coverage but only 10% of all jobs are reachable by transit in 90 minutes from the suburbs. The overall KC job access rate for the metro area is calculated at 18%.

Of course the biggest question is how will the region use this information to better serve the needs of the community with transit.

TAN doesn’t agree with the Brookings ranking, and we can certainly quibble with their methodology, but we can all agree that our transit-to-jobs situation needs work.  While we don’t have all the answers, we do have some thoughts about tentative actions:

  • Additional funding for transit is needed
  • A set of relevant and objective local measures are needed to track our future progress in making transit available to more people
  • Since it will take more than “throwing money at transit” to achieve these ends, such as providing a transit option to more of the region’s residents for access to jobs and other opportunities, it will take deliberate attention to where future development is located, especially when public incentives are involved.
  • Although there are notable improvements recently, continued efforts are needed between the transit providers to provide a seamless transit experience for riders.

This forum is open to the public and if you are interested in transit please come take part. TAN will be present to make sure we understand WHY we rated so low and to help develop a response.

Multiple comments and criticisms relating to the new transit report are showing up in the media and on the blogs including TAN’s article last week. You may find them interesting reading. One item that seems to drive several bloggers crazy is that New York didn’t come out on top and it was beaten by some small cities. Honolulu came out number one.

Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight column in the New York Times

On the Economics of Mass Transit and the Value of Common Sense

Brookings has responded to Nate’s comments with further explanations about the report. New York has a great transit system but not everyone in the suburbs has access which lowered its ranking.

Maintenance on Silver’s Transit Line by Alan Berube and Robert Puentes

Other commentaries

Kaid Benfield on the NRDC staff blog

Warning: transit data may not mean what you think they mean

Richard Layman from Urban Places and Spaces

The weird findings on transit from the recent Brookings Institution

Noah Kazis on Streets Blog

Do 12 American Regions Have Better Transit Access Than NYC? Doubtful.

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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.


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


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.


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.

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KCATA Board of Commissioners Meeting 4/27/11

Posted by Transit Action Network on May 5, 2011

1. During public comment, Ron McLinden, Transit Action Network, asked the board to initiate a unilateral 90-day trial period in which KCATA honors Johnson County Transit monthly passes on Main Street MAX buses.  A limited trial could be implemented at little or no cost, and would be an important symbolic step toward improving the region’s transit system by making transit a more viable option for more people.  The Board agreed to consider the request.

2.The board authorized a contract to purchase eight 2011 Dodge Caravan passenger vans for use in the KCATA”s AdVantage Vanpool Program. The eight vehicles in the current fleet of 33 vehicles have exceeded their 100,000-mile and four-year useful life. The AdVantage Vanpool Program is available to commuters who either reside or work in a community supporting the KCATA through service agreements, and who do not have access to existing public transit services for their commute trip.

View the program

(Unfortunately, the money is for replacement vans only. No additional vans are being added to the vanpool although there is a waiting list and we are in a period of high demand due to high gas prices. This program is great for groups of 6 or more people who want to ride together to work and other forms of public transit are not available: example-people who live in Lee’s Summit but work close to the airport)

3. The Board of Commissioners authorized a cooperative agreement for a KU Medical Center Area Transit Study toward the goal of improving transit service for those working in and around the medical center and improving connections between current transit routes.

The study arose from discussions between Mayor Reardon of Kansas City, Kansas, and Mayor Foster of Roeland Park about improving transit service for those working in and around the medical center and improving connections between current transit routes.

KCATA, MARC, Johnson County Transit, the City of Roeland Park, and the Unified Government have jointly developed a scope for a consultant to analyze options to improve transit services to KU Medical Center for nearby residents, employees, and visitors and to improve transit connections.

HNTB has been selected to conduct the study under their on-call services contract with KCATA, at an estimated cost of $72,500. The study is to be completed this fall. Federal planning funds will be used for 80% of the cost with remaining local funds to be provided by the Unified Government, Johnson County Transit, the City of Roeland Park, and KCATA.

4. The Board of Commissioners authorized a service contract with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, from May 1, 2011, to April 30, 2012, with a City contribution of $43.1 million.

From the 1/2 cent sales tax the contract includes $19.9 million for Metro, $1.9 million for Share-A- Fare and $40.2 thousand to fund specialized services for reverse-commute job transportation. There is $21.3 million from the 3/8-cent sales tax for public transportation.

This contract is an increase of 6.2% over last years contract. Part of that increase is due to the ordinance passed in December 2010 to restore funding to public transit and part is due to higher sales tax revenues.

Keep in mind that this contract is still less than the 2004/2005 Kansas City contract.

Share-A-Fare Price Increases 2011

5.Bryan Beck, KCATA’s Director of ADA Compliance and Customer Service, provided an update on the fare increase from $2.50 to $3 per ADA eligible ride for the Share-A-Fare program, including the results of two public meetings and additional public input.  He presented general information and a service review of the Share-A-Fare program. See the full presentation- SAF Update 

6. Cindy Baker, KCATA Director of Marketing,  made a presentation on the State Avenue corridor project, funded by TIGER grants. It is in the design phase and the design team will soon be meeting with Advisory Council, stakeholders, and the general public. One component of this phase is the branding that will go hand in hand with design and then implementation. This project includes transit infrastructure improvements that could serve as a precursor to a future MAX line.

Johnson County Transit is in a similar situation with their Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf route, also a TIGER-funded improved-transit corridor, but not full BRT service.

The JO has been working with consultants and the public to brand their new line. They have opted to call it “The JO Connex”. KCATA, Unified Government, and Johnson County Transit are all amenable to developing a regional brand, called “Connex,” that would represent a family of routes that include enhanced transit amenities, but do not increase service levels to MAX standards.

Next meeting May 25, 2011.

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Seamless Transit – Two Small Steps

Posted by Transit Action Network on December 7, 2010

MAX pylon at the Waldo stop

It’s been on our agenda for a long time, but we first wrote about “seamless transit” back in May  We consider it an issue because there are invisible barriers to transit riders who need to move about the region using buses operated by the three transit agencies.

Closeup of MAX pylon at Waldo stop


Two recent developments move the region a little closer to achieving seamless transit.

[1] – Johnson County Transit initiated a new bus route (575/875) in July connecting Waldo with Johnson County Community College via 75th Street and Quivira Road.  However, there was no evidence of the service at Waldo, except when a bus was actually there.  In response to our request to its Board of Commissioners in August, KCATA has posted a map and schedule for Route 575/875 at the Waldo MAX stop.  To our knowledge this is the first time a map and schedule for a Johnson County Transit route has been posted in Missouri.  Our hats are off to the KCATA and JCT staff who made this happen.  We hope a similar posting for Route 556/856 at the Plaza MAX stop will follow.  And then maybe something at 10th and Main where dozens of JCT buses stop every weekday.

Close-up of the map and schedule displayed on the MAX pylon.  JCT Route 575/875 is shown in the green panel at the lower left of the poster.

[2] – Mid-America Regional Council has convened a Seamless Transit Work Group within its Transit Committee.  Through this group, Transit Action Network will work with MARC and transit agency staff, plus representatives of other organizations, to define seamless transit — making the region’s transit network easier to use is a first working definition — and to outline steps the transit agencies should take to achieve it.

Two small steps for transit agencies and MARC.  Two giant leaps toward seamless transit.

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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).

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)

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

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

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

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 »

News From The JO

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 16, 2010

New Service Kick-off Event on August 19

Johnson County Transit added new transit service on new and existing routes on July 6.  Help Transit Action Network help The JO formally celebrate the new service at an event on Thursday, August 19, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at the Price Chopper just east of Metcalf on 75th Street.  More information about the event and the new routes is on The JO’s website:

Success of this new service may be essential to getting federal funds to implement the planned Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway BRT (bus rapid transit) route in the future.  More than $10 million of federal stimulus money has already been obtained to add bus stops, shelters, a new transit hub in Mission, and other facilities along the planned BRT route.  Read our blog entry about the new service:

Johnson County Starts “START”

A Strategic Transit Recommendation Taskforce (START) has been formed by the Johnson County commission to study transit issues in the county, including the critical issue of how to fund implementation of the strategic transit plan.  The 24-member task force is chaired by Steve Klika, who also chairs the Johnson County Transportation Council.  JCTC serves as the board of directors for The JO.  START’s second meeting will be at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 19, at the Sylvester Powell Community Center at 6200 Martway in Mission.  Conveniently, that’s immediately after the new service celebration (above).  Here’s the START webpage:

For additional perspective, see the story in Saturday’s Kansas City Star:

Posted in Events, Local Transit Issues | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

July KCATA BOC meeting:Comprehensive Service Analysis, Public Input and Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted by Transit Action Network on August 8, 2010

KCATA Board of Commissioners meeting July 28, 2010

July 28- KCATA Board of Commissioners Meeting

Comprehensive Service Analysis

The KCATA Comprehensive Service Analysis (CSA) is underway. Link to find out about the 2010-2011 Service Analysis.

Take the Preference Survey for the CSA. It is  important that transit riders speak up and take this survey. It is available in English and Spanish.  The choices are hard.

Link to the CSA July2010 presentation by Nelson Nygaard about the analysis.

KCATA expects to have public meetings in the Fall. We will keep you informed of these meetings.

Public Input:

Ron McLinden, advocate with Transit Action Network, presents appeals for seamless transit at the July 28,2010 KCATA BOC meeting

Ron McLinden, an advocate with the Transit Action Network, spoke about the new services started by Johnson County Transit. He expressed TAN’s strong support for this service and the importance of these routes toward the development of Bus Rapid Transit in Johnson County. TAN had met previously with Cindy Baker, KCATA Director of Marketing, about combining signage and schedules between KCATA and the JO for these new routes. Since Cindy had said KCATA was willing to do this, Ron expressed appreciation for this important step toward seamless transit.

Clay Chastain spoke. He offered an “olive branch” to the KCATA and wanted them to work with him on a transit package to take to voters this  November. The board listened politely and thanked him for coming.

Clay Chastain presentation to KCATA BOC July 28,2010

Customer Satisfaction Survey

ETC Institute recently conducted a Customer Satisfaction Survey about KCATA.  This survey showed overall improvement from the previous survey in 2007.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed used the service for either going to work or job seeking, supporting the idea of how important the service is to the community. More people are transit dependent than in 2007.

Riders felt there were big improvements in on-time performance and  transit service. Ninety–one percent of riders surveyed would recommend the MAX and the METRO.

Overall results were very positive and better than in 2007 but there is always room for improvement.

Suggested improvements: Improve the courtesy on the Metro information line, integrate technology to distribute information and improve the condition of the buses.

Greatest need: increase weekend service and service between 6am ad 6pm.

Posted in Local Transit Issues, Meeting Reports, Rail, Seamless Transit | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

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”

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 – – 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

Margie Richcreek reporting

"OH, there is the bus stop"

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

Posted in Transit Adventures | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

The JO Will Expand Service in July

Posted by Transit Action Network on June 15, 2010

Johnson County Transit

June 12, 2010

Johnson County Transit has released tentative information about new and expanded routes that will begin in July.  This expanded service represents a significant step toward providing “real” public transit in Johnson County .

Metcalf / Plaza

Route 556 will replace Route H, connecting 135th and Metcalf with MAX at the Plaza, via Metcalf Avenue and Shawnee Mission Parkway .  There will be five morning round trips, and five northbound and four southbound evening trips.  We don’t know if 556 will extend eastward to Troost as Route H currently does.

Route 856 will provide three round trips of midday flexible service in the 556 corridor between 10 am and 3 pm.  Presumably this will be so-called “route deviation” service, with buses operating on a fixed schedule but able to go off-route to make pre-arranged pick-ups or drop-offs along the corridor.

75th Street / JCCC

Route 575 is a new route connecting MAX at 75th and Wornall with Johnson County Community College via 75th Street and Quivira Road .  There will be four morning and four evening round trips.

Route 875 will provide three round trips of midday flexible service in the 575 corridor between 10:30 am and 3 pm.  Buses will operate on a fixed schedule but able to go off-route to make pre-arranged pick-ups or drop-offs along the corridor.

Schedules are not yet available.

The JO is gradually switching from letters to numbers for route identifiers.

Why the different route numbers for midday service in the 556 and 575 corridors?  JCT will define 556 and 575 as “commuter” routes, which are exempt from the requirement to provide “ADA complementary service” during those periods.  Midday, such service is provided by the flexible nature of routes 856 and 875.  Complementary (not complimentary) service is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Source of this information is the agenda packet for the June 9 meeting of the Johnson County Transportation Council (pages 24-25).


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Small Steps Toward Seamless Transit

Posted by Transit Action Network on May 19, 2010

The Transit Action Network wants “seamless transit” for the Kansas City region.

What do we mean by seamless transit?  Basically it comes down to making it easier to connect among the three transit systems (ATA, The JO, and UGT).  Shared bus stops with posted schedules and other information, especially where routes intersect.  A common monthly transit pass, or at least having the three systems accept each other’s monthly passes. Simple things.

At lot is happening in transit right now, and it might seem reasonable to postpone some of these details while dealing with more immediate issues.  We think this is precisely the time to do it.

Looking just at Johnson County, for example, there are opportunities that shouldn’t be lost.  Beginning In July, Johnson County Transit will add trips on Metcalf and Shawnee Mission Parkway, and will launch a new route on 75th Street that will connect with MAX and other ATA routes in Waldo.  In addition, federal stimulus money has been awarded to JCT to prepare for BRT (bus rapid transit) in the Metcalf / Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor, with connections to MAX at the Plaza.

The ATA’s Route 175 currently operates along Metcalf between 95th and 119th, three trips in the morning and three in the afternoon.  That route, along with the new JCT service to begin in July, presents opportunities to improve connectivity for transit users.


1 – Add information about the new JCT service at MAX and other stops in Missouri, and to let people know that the two systems honor each other’s transfers.

2 – At Waldo, make sure the new JCT route serves the MAX stop directly, rather than forcing people to cross 75th Street and walk 150 yards to connect to MAX.

3 – At Waldo and the Plaza, add a map of the several routes that radiate outward from those stops.

4 – At the Metcalf South park-and-ride lot, add a schedule poster and information about where to board the ATA Route 175 bus that passes by on 95th and Metcalf, but doesn’t serve the park-and-ride.  (Better yet, reroute the 175 to serve the park-and ride lot.)

5 – When new bus stops are posted along Metcalf, have them show what routes serve them, ATA as well as JCT routes.

6 – Wherever passenger shelters are installed, provide information about transit service.  Every shelter is a 24/7 presence for transit, and should be used as part of the transit marketing plan.

7 – Show all connecting routes when JCT and the ATA publish new or revised pocket schedules, or publish such information on their respective websites.

JCT and the ATA, working with MARC, have been partners in applying for and receiving the federal stimulus money for transit that was announced back in February.  They should use this closer level of cooperation and coordination to make their respective transit services work more like a seamless regional system.

Ron McLinden

May 18, 2010

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