(Kansas City, MO - March 20, 2017) The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), in partnership with the Kansas City Veterans Administration and the Veterans Community Project, is honoring veterans through a free fare program. The initiative is sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Labor Unions/AFL-CIO and was announced this morning at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
The new program allows all area veterans to use RideKC transit for free with a RideKC Veterans Pass or other photo identification: valid ID from the Department of Veteran Affairs, active military service ID cards, or photo ID from the state of Missouri showing veteran status. While other transit programs throughout the country offer free fares to veterans, most are limited to decorated or disabled veterans. Identification cards will be available through Veterans Community Project, 8900 Troost, in late April 2017.
A new illustrated bus “Honoring Veterans” was revealed this morning, and will begin traveling the streets of Kansas City to raise awareness of the program.
The program is available to the estimated 115,000 veterans living in the greater Kansas City region.
“KCATA and our regional RideKC transit partners are proud and honored to offer this resource to those who have served our country,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president & CEO. “Strong community partnerships are making it possible for veterans to access jobs, education, health care and recreation at no cost on RideKC.”
“The working class people in Kansas City recognize the debt that we owe to the men and women who sacrificed a portion of their time on earth to keep our country safe,” said Patrick Dujakovich, AFL-CIO KC president. “This is a small way we can say thanks and make life a little easier for them. It also helps us find people and connect them to employment opportunities in the area that can utilize the skills our veterans possess.”
The improved access to transit will have a positive impact on the lives of local veterans, connecting them to healthcare, jobs and education.
“We are pleased this new program will improve the quality of life for KC Veterans by increasing access to healthcare through integrated, cost-effective transportation solutions through a partnership with KCATA,” said Dwayne Rider, Public Affairs Officer for the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center.
"Public transportation offers a critical outlet for Veterans seeking to access existing services and resources,” said Chris Stout, Veterans Community Project. “For homeless Veterans, mobility is often the most significant impediment to obtaining shelter, affordable housing, education, and employment.”
About Program Sponsor and Partners
Greater Kansas City Labor Unions/AFL-CIO: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 57 National and International Labor Unions. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 12.2 million members, including 3.2 million members in Working America, its community affiliate. We are teachers and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and engineers, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and plumbers—and more. The Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, born in 1963, serves working families across the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
Kansas City VA Medical Center: Opening in 1952, the Kansas City VA Medical Center has a rich legacy of providing quality care to the men and women who have proudly served our nation - America’s heroes. We consider it an honor and privilege to serve the health care needs of our Veterans. The mission of the KC VAMC is to provide high quality, comprehensive primary and tertiary healthcare to Veterans in our service area, and to provide selected specialty care services to referred Veterans. It is also our mission to provide education and training to healthcare professionals and to perform research that benefits Veterans.
Veterans Community Project: The Veterans Community Project (VCP) is on a mission to eliminate Veteran homelessness by providing transitional-housing and enabling access to exceptional 360-degree service solutions. Focusing first on the Greater-Kansas City area, VCP aspires to use Kansas City as the blueprint for achieving similar successes in cities across the United States. VCP has a long-term goal of eliminating Veteran homelessness nationwide. Through contributions and partnerships, they are creating Veterans Village. A community of tiny-homes and onsite services to provide housing stability and address the underlying cause of the Veteran’s homelessness.
KCATA: The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is dedicated to connecting people to opportunities throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan region. Created in 1965 through special state legislative action in both Missouri and Kansas, the KCATA today operates a fleet of more than 270 buses providing more than 54,000 customer trips per weekday.