New council being formed to coordinate transit efforts

With five transit agencies operating buses in the metropolitan area and streetcars on their way, all agree on the need for greater coordination.

The new Transit Coordinating Council is mandated to help with that.

Tom Gerend, assistant transportation director at the Mid-America Regional Council, said the council “is a near-term solution” while other efforts explore long-term changes in transit laws, structure and funding.

Transit officials on other fronts have talked of modifying the bistate compact to make a metrowide transit tax possible.

Currently only Kansas City has two transit sales taxes to help fund buses while other cities cobble together funds out of general revenues.

The new coordinating council will advise MARC, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and local jurisdictions with matters like planning, policy and processes.

Officials are in the process of appointing co-chairs for the council and sending out invitations for people to be on it, Gerend said.

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