(Kansas City, Mo. – Sept. 19, 2016) -- The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will let riders try out a different type of bus on Missouri commuter express routes. Over the next two weeks, RideKC will give some riders from Liberty, Lee’s Summit, Raytown and Blue Springs the option of riding in an over-the-road (OTR) coach bus.
Customers who ride the coach bus will be surveyed about their experience. Those responses will help guide the future possible use of over-the-road coaches by KCATA.
Over-the-road buses are taller and longer than a standard 40-foot bus used for urban public transit. Coach buses are typically used for travel between cities, primarily using highways.
“The time is right for a pilot of this type of bus,” said Steve Klika, chairman of the KCATA Board of Commissioners. “Service between Lawrence and Overland Park on the K10 Connector already uses coach buses to great success.”
“As we explore innovative ways to deploy service,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president & CEO, “we have the opportunity to right size the fleet and test this vehicle on the commuter express service to downtown.”
The coach bus is 45 feet long, and seats 56. It includes upgraded seats, overhead storage and mobile device charging. KCATA expects the buses may provide a smoother ride and more consistent climate control. However, the bus’ larger size limits where it can travel. Customers walk up steps to board the bus. The buses are wheelchair-accessible through a lift, rather than a ramp.
KCATA will run the pilot program for the last two weeks in September.
Transit authority staff will be on board the bus to gather feedback from customers who ride the vehicle.