KCATA studying next bus rapid transit route

Date:November 13, 2017
KCATA studying next bus rapid transit route

In the transit world, it’s never too early to start planning.

So as Prospect MAX moves into the construction phase, we’ve started laying the groundwork for what could be the city’s fourth bus rapid transit line on Independence Avenue.

Planners at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority are taking the first steps toward developing enhanced bus service on Independence Avenue with a study evaluating transit options from downtown Kansas City to downtown Independence, Mo. 

Independence Avenue is one of the most heavily used east-west transit routes in the bus system, averaging about 2,800 riders each weekday. The study could lead to the area’s first east-west bus rapid transit line.

Study corridor between downtown Kansas City and Independence, Mo.

Starting work early is important to position the project for federal funds, which have been critical to financing Kansas City’s other bus rapid transit routes.

We are focusing on the nine-mile Independence Avenue corridor because it is one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse areas in the region. It will also provide important connections to employment opportunities and destinations for residents who depend on public transportation.

The project potentially would link a bus rapid transit line to the city of Independence, making it the first time one of our premier BRT routes would serve an area outside of Kansas City, Mo. It also would potentially connect riders to other MAX routes on Main Street/Grand Boulevard, Troost Avenue and Prospect.

The study will look at the best ways for running a bus rapid transit line between Independence and Kansas City while maintaining some level of local transit service.

We also will review opportunities for off-board fare payment options including mobile ticketing, ticket vending machines, and other methods to improve the passenger experience, operational efficiency, travel time and on-time performance.

Our planning efforts also will examine how Smart City infrastructure, such as interactive kiosks, real-time arrival information signs and free public Wi-Fi, can be incorporated into the project.

Our MAX bus rapid transit routes on Main Street and Troost Avenue are among the most popular in the region. We’re excited about starting a new MAX route on Prospect Avenue in 2019.

While a MAX route on Independence Avenue is still years away, we are enthusiastic about taking bus rapid transit to a regional level and once again providing service that will connect people to opportunities.