KC Light Rail

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

Bus ridership on the rise metrowide

The Star's Brad Cooper digs up 2007 ridership numbers for area transit agencies — you certainly won't find the data on each agency's website or even in a press release — and shows where the biggest surge in demand lies: the suburbs. Doesn't this trump conventional wisdom about suburbanites and their cars in this town? Granted, much of The JO's demand came from the new K-10 Connector premium service — it costs $2.50 each way — but it's certainly not paying for itself, so money is coming out of The JO's limited funds to provide it. The story is the same on the Missouri side: suburbs like Independence, Blue Springs, Lee's Summit, and North Kansas City are clamoring to find increased or dedicated funding to meet demand. This is good news for the ATA in advance of the April vote to extend the bus tax for another 15 years, but what about the rest of the metro? Where is the leadership to secure dedicated transit funding?

11 Comments so far

  1. Let’s Go KC » Blog Archive » Transit usage up all over the metro January 29th, 2008 4:33 pm

    […] addition, KC Light Rail mentions news that North Kansas City is looking at the possibility of extending the MAX Bus Rapid Transit […]

  2. northlander January 29th, 2008 5:38 pm

    Bus fare needs to go up. Those who ride must pay. With what they save in parking downtown and another $10-20 in gas saving it should be no problem.[per week]

  3. Dave January 29th, 2008 9:28 pm

    the highest bus fare in the nation is $2, even in the most expensive cities. that wouldn’t even begin to cover all of ATA’s operating cost, let alone fund any improvements. it’s very likely we’ll see a hike, regardless, to offset the cost of light rail. every transit operator will tell you that’s it’s a delicate balance between attracting riders and fare recovery. maybe you’ve figure out what they’ve all been overlooking?

  4. Eric January 30th, 2008 7:47 am

    Northlander, gas taxes need to go up. Right now most of KCMO’s streets are built and maintained with sales tax money. So those who don’t drive pay for your roads. Those who drive must pay!!

    No form of motorized transportation is self-sustaining or “pays for itself”. It all takes tax money to make it work.

  5. Joe Medley January 30th, 2008 2:29 pm

    As a former suburbanite, I don’t understand the suburban animosity to subsidizing public transportation. I don’t use the highways to get to work. I wouldn’t even if I drove. But I don’t complain about my tax money being spent on highways.

    Get over it, suburbanites.

  6. Dave January 30th, 2008 3:29 pm

    i think it basically comes down to balancing the needs of the current (roads, schools, public safety) with the anti-tax “exurbans”. suburban voters say they want better transit, but they never collectively rank it high enough for leaders to respond in kind. that’s why it takes a bit more courage for, say, ed gerlach to come out and state that it’s a priority.

    a good comparison is KCK, which surveyed its citizens and found transit ranked very high. guess what? state avenue BRT is on the way.

  7. northlander January 30th, 2008 5:51 pm

    Eric, guess what where do you think transit money comes from? The Feds take 40% from the gas tax to pay for transit and they want us to pay a toll for using the roads,you got to be kidding.
    Gas taxes don’t need to go up,transit riders need to pay up.I pay for my car, taxes on my car, and the gas tax should go to pay for the roads
    By the way only 1% or less use transit what about the other 99%

  8. Dave January 30th, 2008 6:09 pm

    the remaining 99% are free to clog up the highways and the air. it’s more than just getting from point A to point B.

    and to the continued obsession on the “market share” of public transit: just remember that lots of things don’t command massive percentages of their respective markets. also, american cities are now designed for private auto use (six-lane arterials, no sidewalks, massive surface parking lots, long distances between locations), a major disincentive to many people who might want to use transit in their daily lives.

    transit also allows a metro to grow beyond where KC is today. there are no other metros larger than KC that do NOT have rail transit in the ground or in planning stages.

  9. northlander January 31st, 2008 7:00 am

    WE don’t need the Metro to grow we need infill.[more density] Check out the sidewalks,that right no one cleans them off when it snows,very few bus shelters to wait for the buses in the Northland,maybe four at the most. People need to move closer to where they work, not moving away from it.

  10. Joe Medley January 31st, 2008 10:10 am

    Transit encourages infil and the concentration of development, the two things you just called for, northlander. Are you arguing our side now?

  11. northlander January 31st, 2008 5:33 pm

    Yes,if the city will get behind infill and the developers will get on board. It’s like which came first the chicken or the egg. Transit routes need to be first for apartments,sidewalks need to be cleaned,bus shelters put in place ,if transit is going to better, and a master plan which should have been done long ago put in place.
    Also need to have smaller food stores along these routes so people can pick-up bread ,milk,etc during the week.Just a little bigger than a QT store. Transit would also take kids to school,so schools would need to be placed on a transit route when they need replaced.

Leave a reply