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NKC: May we have BRT in the interim?

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North Kansas City, the tiny municipality that occupies much of the land needed to take light rail north of the Missouri River, might be ready for transit improvements sooner than KCMO can deliver. During NKC's council meeting this week, council members wondered if an extension of the MAX BRT line north to NE 32nd (presumably along Burlington) might be an option worth funding while the light rail plan comes together.

Currently, MAX terminates south of the river at 3rd and Grand. The NKC area is served by limited bus service today (pretty much weekdays only), but is home to some large employers (Cerner, North Kansas City Hospital), a teeming downtown district, and truckloads of casino revenue. NKC is in the process of approving $257,871 worth of funding for the service they have today.

3 Comments so far

  1. jeff December 14th, 2007 11:49 am

    this would be fantastic having MAX run north. it’s not easy to get across the river with out a car. having more regular, frequent bus service across the river would be great for many.

  2. enough December 14th, 2007 11:49 am

    what transit service characteristics — which they apparently attribute to max — do nkc council members have in mind? limited stops? seven-day service? evening service? more frequent service? real-time arrival info? signal priority? blue and silver buses with a sexy logo?

    except for the mystique of the max brand, nkc can get much of what they want through realignment (and better marketing) of current transit service, and they should ask the ata to take a look at it.

    for starters, operate all except express trips on swift rather than burlington. that would put a higher level of transit service close to more nkc residents and employees, and more people could use transit without having to cross burlington. realignment would also support better use of the park-and-ride lot at 18th and swift.

    paseo bridge reconstruction offers a great opportunity to build transit ridership in and through nkc. realignment of nkc transit service can also help. getting ridership up — above the 1,000 daily riders that the fta wants to justify conversion of a route to brt — is the way to justify brt (max) in nkc.

  3. Eric Rogers December 14th, 2007 1:23 pm

    I wonder if NKC is willing to buy additional BRT buses? A single bus could cost as much as or more than the city’s entire transit budget. And I assume more buses would be needed to serve NKC while maintaing the current schedule south of the river. The city is gonna have to turn loose of some casino money, or spend a couple years applying for federal grants.

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