Heads up bus riders: Midtown routes have changed

The new route map for the 47-Broadway route. It increases capacity on Broadway and links Midtown to downtown, Crown Center, the Truman Sports Complex and Blue Ridge Crossing.

For Midtown Kansas City residents, recent changes in bus routes will mean more frequent bus service, simpler schedules and larger buses on Broadway. The revised routes went into effect Sunday, September 30.

According  to Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) Planning Director Danny O’Connor, the changes reflect a comprehensive analysis of the demand for services and the input of more than 800 citizens. The bus service asked people what was important to them as riders – whether they wanted to travel further or more often or more directly. The answers from residents has led to major changes in three bus lines in Midtown.

The changes that began Sunday are part three of a four-phase process. O’Connor says the last phase will impact routes north of the river, and will add seven-day-a-week service to the airport, which is currently only available until 7 p.m. on weekdays.  The KCATA’s Cindy Baker says ridership on routes changed in April and July of this year already has increased ridership two percent.

Here are the most significant changes for the Midtown area:

The elimination of the 51-Broadway and 47-Roanoke routes, which have been replaced by the 47-Broadway and the 51-Ward Parkway routes.  

The new 47-Broadway route: Rider input and other studies showed the need for increased capacity on Broadway and the need for a link to the Blue Ridge Crossing shopping center east of the sports stadiums. Blue Ridge includes major retailers such as Starbucks, Applebee’s,Wal-Mart Supercenter, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, GNC and Mattress Firm. There is also a Metro hub at Blue Ridge Crossing that connects to routes out east.

  • This new line replaces the old 47-Roanoke route, which becomes the new 47-Broadway route.
  • The new 47-Broadway, seen above, connects downtown, Crown Center, Westport, the Plaza, the Truman Sports Complex, and Blue Ridge Crossing.
  • The 47-Broadway route also takes people to Blue Parkway and Swope Health Center.
  • Because of increased ridership, the KCATA has added larger buses on the route.
  • Hours have been expanded and the KCATA says that buses will be better able to keep to their schedules.
  • More details on the new route

 The new 51-Ward Parkway route: This route connects downtown, Penn Valley Community College, KU Medical Center, the West Plaza and Ward Parkway Center, and connects to other routes going north of the river and south at Bannister Road. The buses will run every 30 minutes instead of every 45 minutes. More details

Changes to the 35-35th Street route to include Westport Road: O’Connor says during public hearings, residents expressed concerns about the lack of bus service directly on Westport Road. The KCATA has made some changes to the 35th Street route connecting the Plaza to Westport via Westport Road and then continuing along Armour Road to Troost. This route replaces part of the eliminated 51-Broadway route that went from Southwest Trafficway to Broadway. More details 

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