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Swifter, smoother, safer bus service goal of new pilot project

Date:November 06, 2015
Swifter, smoother, safer bus service goal of new pilot project

“Stop optimization” is a mouthful for just about anyone. In short, it is a phrase for swifter, smoother, safer bus service. It’s a way to improve service by spacing bus stops in a way that balances convenience and close access to transit with the goal of keeping buses on schedule by not stopping at every intersection.

 “Stop optimization” is also a way of describing a pilot project under way at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority In which planners are strategically removing seldom-used bus stops to produce faster and timelier bus service for riders.

The KCATA has been working for months to identify bus stops that are rarely used. Removing some along the route so they’re not so closely spaced is expected to produce faster and more reliable bus service that will take riders to their destination swiftly, safely and on time.

Another part of the optimization is improving stops by moving benches and shelters to those with the higher ridership. Several stops will get concrete boarding areas, or “pads,” to give customers a drier, more even boarding spot.

The first phase of the project focused on six routes. The affected routes were: 25-Troost, 24-Independence, 30-Northeast, 121-Cleveland-Antioch, 108-Indiana and 173-Casino Cruiser.

While the bus stop removal is complete on these routes, the next stage will review the remaining stops in detail. We will look for ways to improve pedestrian access, improving ADA access with curb ramps and sidewalk improvement. We will also evaluate whether or not the existing signage is sufficient. 

Bus stops were removed along those routes based on a number of factors, including the number of riders who board at those locations, the proximity of nearby stops as well as safe access to the stops from the streets and sidewalks.

Overall, 266 stops were scheduled to be removed. But after hearing from the public, KCATA planners decided to keep about a dozen those of those bus stops. Those stops included:

  • 18th Street at Euclid, eastbound and westbound stops.
  • Independence Avenue at Gladstone, westbound stop only.
  • Independence at Indiana, eastbound and westbound stops.
  • St. John at Lawn, eastbound and westbound stops.
  • St. John at Askew, eastbound and westbound stops.
  • 4825 Troost Avenue, northbound and southbound stops.

The KCATA takes public comment seriously, which is why these stops were kept in place.

We are planning stop optimization for four routes in January: 15-Truman Road, 35-35th Street, 51-Ward Parkway, and 109-9th Street.

Proposals for removing low-performing stops on these routes will be posted online the week of Nov. 7. The public is encouraged to comment by Dec. 1, but comments will be accepted and reviewed throughout January. To send comments to KCATA about the stop removal, email metro@kcata.org or call 816-346-0300.

The goal of this project is to make your ride better. But there might be good reasons why a stop should not be removed, and we want to hear your thoughts.

We look forward to providing you a swifter, smoother and safer ride.