Construction began last month on the highly anticipated Prospect MAX. The $55.8 million project will bring enhanced transit service along Kansas City’s 10-mile Prospect Avenue corridor from downtown to 75th Street. The Prospect corridor is served by the second busiest route in the region, 71 Prospect, with more than 6,000 passengers each weekday.
Prospect MAX will be a transformative project that will spur new development and bring vitality to Kansas City’s east side. Prospect Avenue has seen extensive development the past few years with the addition of the $74 million Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol Campus and $3.6 million Morningstar Missionary Baptist Church Youth and Family Life Center at 27th and Prospect, as well as the $17 million development at Linwood Shopping Center near 31st and Prospect, which includes a new Sun Fresh Market.
“Prospect MAX is not just about sticking four tires on a road,” KCATA President and CEO Robbie Makinen said. “This is about community development. It's about transforming the corridor as a whole to generate revenue, ridership and relationships.”
Construction just began on downtown transit facilities at 12th and Grand and Petticoat and Main. Construction at both locations is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018. The downtown transit facilities will offer improved sidewalks, level-boarding MAX platforms for quicker boarding, snow-ice melt system for platforms, real-time arrivals on interactive kiosks, bike parking, modified bike lane on Grand to improve safety for cyclists, ticket vending machine to speed boarding at 12th and Grand, and more compact shelter design to allow more space for pedestrians at Petticoat and Main.
The mobility hub at 12th and Charlotte will replace the current 10th and Main Transit Center. The location will feature an indoor passenger lobby, two ticket vending machines, level boarding, bus operator restroom, bike parking, bike share and kiosks with real-time arrival information. Construction is expected to begin later this year.
The mobility hub at 75th Street and Prospect near Alphapointe will offer a ticket vending machine, technologies to help the visually impaired or blind navigate the transit center, level boarding, a Park and Ride, bike parking and kiosks with real-time arrival information. Construction is expected to begin in October 2018. An app will help people get around the area by speaking step-by-step navigation instructions so visually impaired users can safely navigate to a bus stop or a pedestrian crossing. The app will include real-time arrival and route information. The app is scheduled to be developed and implemented in 2019. As funding allows, the system will be extended throughout the Prospect corridor and downtown.
Fabrication is underway on bus shelters, markers and double-sided and single-sided interactive kiosks with real-time arrival information. Construction is scheduled to begin in late September 2018 on MAX stations, streetscape and road improvements, level-boarding platforms, traffic signals, WiFi and security cameras along Prospect. Twelve new MAX buses are scheduled to be delivered by fall 2019.
When complete, Prospect MAX users can expect speedier bus service because sleek new bus stations will be placed every four to six blocks apart compared to more traditional bus service where stops are located every block.
MAX is RideKC’s brand for bus rapid transit (BRT) service. KCATA operates two MAX BRT lines: Main MAX, opened 2005, and Troost MAX, opened 2011. Prospect MAX is projected to be complete in fall 2019.