Prospect Max bus line to get formal city support

metroA city council committee today advanced a resolution of support for a Prospect MAX bus line and committed $12.4 million in city money.

The resolution, scheduled for a full council vote later today, supports an application for federal approval and funds filed late last month.

Dick Jerrold of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority briefed the council Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today.

The line of about 10 miles from 12th Street to 75th Street would cost $53.8 million.

The city would pay $12.4 million over three years, the KCATA would pay $3.5 million to buy larger and better buses for it, and they hope for various federal grants to pay the rest.

Like the other MAX routes on Main and Troost, buses would run every 10 minutes and make fewer stops.

The stations for it would be easy to identify and comfortable with good lighting and shelter from weather.

The buses would have more leg room and more room for people to stand or carry bags of groceries.

The passengers will be there, Jerrold said. The bus line on Prospect now handles 6,000 passengers a day, the second most in the bus system.

He said that is expected to double with a MAX line.

The goal is to have the Federal Transportation Authority put key grant funding in its February 2016 budget request, he said.

Two criteria for the FTA grant are the merit of a project and whether financing is in place for it, including local funds.

Jermaine Reed, chair of the council transportation and infrastructure committee, said federal officials had recently voiced support for the project at a meeting in Washington, D.C.

A key question, Jerrold said, is if congress will approve the funding even if FTA requests it.

If all falls into place, he said, the MAX buses could be running in 2018.

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