Map could be start of a regional bus system

For the first time, a map shows all the bus routes in the metropolitan area.

Officials showed it Tuesday at the first meeting of the Transit Stakeholder Forum group.

It is very preliminary, they said, but a symbol of the cooperation that is beginning.

The group of area transit experts is to gather information and input from bus riders and provide it to the recently formed Transit Coordinating Council.

The council includes city and county leaders from throughout the area who are working together to unify public transportation.

Dick Jarrold of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority  told other forum members they are looking at how to improve the day-to-day experience for bus riders.

Currently riders must navigate four bus systems separately and pay different rates for them.

The map linking them all is a start, Jarrold said. The ATA and the Mid-America Regional Council are studying common fares, he said, and soon monthly passes for Johnson County buses will be good on other area buses.

“We ultimately want to get to regional policy and an understandable regional fare structure,” he said.

A study is underway – and public input is needed – on whether cheaper passes should be sold for weekly or other fares instead of just monthly fares, he said.

Can transit operations save money on fuel and other costs by buying together? Also, can they get more federal grants by prioritizing area projects and applying for grants together?

And beyond that there are serious transit questions that probably will not be tackled in the near future.

Those include why no regional funding is used for area transit and why it does not have a regional governing body, Jarrold said.

The forum group members said they will use notices on buses, social media and more to solicit the public to attend their meetings.

“Give us your ideas,” Jarrold said.

Previous posts

Comments are closed.