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Proposed bus route changesLoretta Jackson-Cowans looked over proposed changes to bus routes on Wednesday afternoon at the West Wyandotte Branch Library. (Staff photo)
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Proposed bus routesEmerick Cross, UG transit director, discussed the elimination of a loop on the State Avenue bus route at Wednesday's public meeting at the West Wyandotte Branch Library. (Staff photo)
Proposed bus route changes
Proposed bus routes
Loretta Jackson-Cowans has been taking the bus since 1988, and was looking over the new proposed bus routes in Kansas City, Kan., on Wednesday afternoon at the West Wyandotte Branch Library, 1727 N. 82nd.
“The thing that concerns me is the availability of more bus stops, especially so the disabled can get around better,” said Jackson-Cowans, a Kansas City, Kan., resident.
In her opinion, the Route 101 bus, which travels on Minnesota and State avenues from downtown Kansas City, Kan., to Village West, is often overcrowded. It’s not very safe when people are standing in the aisles on the bus, and it comes to a sudden stop, she added. With the new routes, Route 101 buses should not be so crowded, she said.
As Kansas City, Kan., prepares to open two new transit centers, one at 7th and Minnesota on Aug. 9, and the other at 47th and State Avenue on Sept. 27, the bus routes along the State Avenue Connex corridor also are being re-evaluated.
One proposed change would eliminate the Route 101 loop from State Avenue to Parallel Parkway, and also would eliminate the weekend stop at Providence Medical Center on Parallel Parkway. Providence will still be on bus routes Monday through Friday.
Emerick Cross, UG transit director, said transportation planning experts looked at that loop as they were evaluating the routes. They found that only six riders out of 729 were stopping at Providence Medical Center on Saturday and only six out of 486 were stopping there on Sunday, he said.
The loop created some confusion for riders, and transportation planners wanted to streamline the routes, making them as straight as possible to be more efficient, he said. Planners said there was little to no demand in the loop, he added. They are trying to spend the transportation dollars in the most efficient way, for the most demand, he said.
The UG transit department has maps available of the proposed routes in Kansas City, Kan., including the State Avenue, Central Avenue, 3rd Street-Fairfax, Argentine, Quindaro, 7th Street-Parallel, and Kansas Avenue routes.
Bus riders can reach Johnson County and Kansas City, Mo. A Johnson County bus comes into the 7th Street station three times in the morning and three at night. Bus riders can take the Route 101 bus from 7th and Minnesota Metro Center across the state line to connect to the 10th and Main Metro Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Cross said the UG transit department is having to balance available funding with extending routes. Currently federal funding is dropping as the federal stimulus funds that helped build the two new transit centers in Kansas City, Kan., have come to an end. At the same time bus ridership is up 6 percent, Cross added. Usually, communities can’t make money with public transportation.
“It’s an integral part of our economy, but it’s very expensive to run a transportation system, and we’re doing the very best with what we’ve got,” he said.
The UG transit service offers some special services other communities don’t have, such as transportation for senior citizen groups, and bus trips to the store or doctor’s appointments for the elderly, Cross said.
One set of changes to bus routes is planned in August, and another in September. One of the main changes in August is using Minnesota Avenue instead of State Avenue in the downtown area. Eliminating the loop to Parallel Parkway on the city’s west side is one of the main changes proposed for September. The Leavenworth Road and west Parallel routes are scheduled to be extended to Village West in September.
Public comments are being sought on the changes, which may be viewed at http://www.kcata.org/rider_bulletins/public_meeting_state_ave._connex_and_kck_bus_changes/, and the comments may be sent to Unified Government Transit Department, 5033 State Ave., Kansas City, KS 66102, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maps of the current routes are shown at www.kcata.org.
The proposed changes to Route 101: For Aug. 11, Route 101 would reroute to 7th and Minnesota, use Minnesota rather than State Avenue in downtown KCK to Hoel Parkway. West of Hoel Parkway there are no changes until Sept. 29. On Sept. 29, these changes for Route 101 are proposed: Eliminate loop along Parallel Parkway - 82nd Street. 101 will terminate at Village West Walmart. Eastbound 101 trips to downtown will depart from Village West Walmart and use Village West Parkway and State Avenue, not Parallel Parkway. There would be no weekend service to Providence Medical Center.
Changes to Routes 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 115 would include changing to use the 7th and Minnesota Transit Center.
There are no changes to Routes 113 and 116 until Sept. 29, and then the route would extend to Village West Walmart, 90 minutes headway, weekdays only.
Also, all routes using 47th and State would use the new Metro Center.