Bus fares across the Kansas City area can be dizzying.
In Kansas City, the basic bus fare costs $1.50.
Over in Johnson County, the basic bus fare is $2.25.
Ride an express bus from Liberty, Mo., or Lawrence, Kan., or Lee’s Summit, Mo., and you’ll pay $3 or more.
Transit planners across the region are hoping to put the finishing touches on a study of the entire fare structure for public transportation in the region. The results potentially could be another big step toward building a public transit system that more easily connects people to opportunity.
The fare study dovetails with an overall effort to forge one regional transit service that’s easy to use. The region is already moving ahead with a single branding effort known as RideKC. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is now managing transit services in Johnson County and Independence.
Earlier this year, the region’s four transit agencies in Kansas City, Johnson County, Wyandotte County and Independence began accepting a single pass for all-day service on local transit routes.
And one more outgrowth of the regional initiative could be a single fare system.
Ultimately, the study will position the region for an entirely new revenue collection system, whether that means mobile ticketing or alternatives to cash such as a debit card, stored value card or other mechanism.
The region has already seen an effort toward a more unified transit system when all four systems began accepting the $3 Day Pass.
So stay tuned. Navigating by bus in Kansas City will become a little easier in the future.