KC Light Rail

Your source for news and information on Kansas City’s light rail progress

Mayoral Candidate Stresses Transportation Expertise

Current 4th District councilman and mayoral candidate Jim Glover told the Sertoma Club this week that he has the expertise to get light rail up and running in Kansas City. Glover has mentioned his previous experience in transportation planning in most of the mayoral forums held to date.

The KMBC piece continues to promote the myth that because we haven't confirmed there is actual federal money for the plan that Kansas City is simply unable to move forward. When the city-backed plan was proposed to voters in 2001, actual federal money was also not immediately available. Another myth propagated here is that the current bus system is somehow above reproach for cuts or a significant overhaul. The level of ignorance about the current KCATA system by the people involved in these discussions is astounding, proven by the fact that not one mayoral candidate has asked the following basic questions:

  • Do we need every route we have today?
  • Do we need every single route to circulate through the downtown loop? Why not take advantage of the transit centers that have been built?
  • Do we need weekend service to the suburbs?
  • Do we need to duplicate routes with The JO since transfers are free?
  • Do we need full-size buses for the lesser-traveled routes?
  • Can we ask surrounding municipalities (Independence, Raytown, Lee's Summit, Gladstone, North Kansas City, KCK) to increase their support for the system?
  • Why aren't we selling more advertising on buses?
  • Why isn't the the mayor and current council lobbying employers to buy bus passes for their employees versus paying for parking (a standard set by Jackson County)?
  • Why aren't the casinos paying for the Casino Cruiser service?
  • Why not use Union Station as the downtown transit center and sell 10th and Main to the highest bidder? All routes could terminate there allowing connections to Amtrak and intercity bus lines (Greyhound, Jefferson, and El Conejo could move to Union Station).

…and so on. The point is that the current system has flaws, and the funding debate should include discussion of these flaws. Next time you run into someone who spouts the line about "saving the current bus system", ask them if they use it.

4 Comments so far

  1. Dustin February 8th, 2007 10:06 am

    good questions. Can we put you in charge?

  2. Jim February 8th, 2007 2:50 pm

    I agree - can you be put in charge. I think the last point is absolutely key - how many of the city leaders actually use the Metro?

    Another aspect of this is when will Johnson county park start promoting transit - a few months ago on Ruckus - one of the panelists raised the point of when will Johnson County actually do something for the good of the entire metro area? The point was not made directly to the transit question, but let’s face the facts - a county the size of Johnson County that has no weekend bus service is an embarrassing disgrace and needs to be fixed asap.

  3. Dave February 8th, 2007 4:48 pm

    thanks for the two votes of confidence!

    yes, johnson county has yet to embrace mass transit. The JO is really just a token (and, yes, i have ridden it before). honestly, i’m afraid KCK will take the lead on the kansas side, as they are hankering to shed their still-rusty image and emerge as incubator for “new ideas” (new by kansas’ definition).

  4. Jim February 9th, 2007 7:08 am

    You might be right on the KCK bit . . . I live in KCMO and work in KCK - over the last year, ridership on the 101, 106 and 114 have all gone up (well, at least it seems that way). With the Legend Complex up and running, more transit options are clearly in need for Wyco/KCK.

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