Our regional program giving veterans free passes on RideKC buses has been a big hit.
Through August, there have been nearly 400,000 veterans’ boardings with the new pass program.
The initiative, announced in front of the World War I Memorial last March, allows all veterans with a RideKC Veterans Pass to ride the bus free throughout the Kansas City region.
The free passes were just one way the community could honor our veterans who have sacrificed so much for protecting our freedoms.
“It’s been fantastic,” said Robbie Makinen, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. “Veterans are accessing their passes and using them. We have pages of testimonials from people saying, `thank you,’ and telling us what a difference it made in their lives.”
Makinen said the free bus pass is giving our veterans opportunities they might not have had otherwise. They’re finding jobs. They’re visiting their doctor. They’re free to travel when they want.
The pass project brought the KCATA together with the Veterans Community Project, the Kansas City Veterans Administration, Pat “Duke” Dujakovich, president of the Greater Kansas City Labor Unions/AFL-CIO and Kansas City Councilwomen Heather Hall and Teresa Loar.
The group conceived and carried out the idea of the free pass program for veterans.
“This has been a perfect collaboration,” Makinen said. “I’m so proud and so honored that we’re able to to have these kind of partnerships and provide this kind of service to our veterans who served for us.”