KC Light Rail

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Kansas counties host regional transit meetings

KDOT and MARC are hosting a series of public meetings in five area counties — Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas, Leavenworth, and Miami — to "develop recommendations that are technically feasible, politically acceptable, and financially realistic." Our translation: Tell us where you want buses to go and don't bother asking for commuter or light rail. The first meeting was last week in Lawrence (sorry!). KC metro meetings start tomorrow night in Olathe and continue into next month. Things to keep in mind, if you plan to attend:

- The Kansas side of the KC metro has no weekend or evening bus service.
- KDOT is actively studying Amtrak service in this area.
- Bus rapid transit has been proposed for the Metcalf Avenue, State Avenue, and I-35 corridors.
- Unified Government Transit (Wyandotte), The JO (Johnson), the T (Lawrence), and ATA (KCMO) do not have interoperable payment systems or trip planners.
- KDOT actually funds local transit services (more than MoDOT!).
- Leavenworth and Miami counties have no regular transit service and no inter-city travel options other than private automobiles (no Amtrak, no Greyhound, no nothing).
- Lawrence just merged its city transit operator with that of the University of Kansas last year (and approved dedicated local funding for the first time).
- There is no current regional plan to make connections between modes (trails don't connect to bus routes, bus routes don't go to the airport, inter-city buses don't stop in the same place as inter-city rail, sidewalks often don't exist); this, of course, makes auto travel a necessity for nearly everyone… people who are underage or elderly, people who drink, and people who otherwise are physically impaired or cannot drive themselves.

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