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Strategic Plan Update

Date:August 29, 2019
Strategic Plan Update

Mobility Momentum 2021 is KCATA’s three-year strategic plan that is guiding RideKC, including our regional transit partners, to a new vision of “delivering innovative solutions that enhance mobility and improve our community.” We pledge to report our progress to you every quarter, organized by the plan’s three pillars: Ridership, Revenue and Relationships.

Second quarter performance was highlighted by new community relationships and outreach, both with our RideKC Next stakeholder workshop and survey, new pass programs with area high schools, and new micro-mobility options for the region.

Ridership

KCATA held our RideKC Next stakeholder workshop on June 23 at Union Station. Over 60 stakeholders representing the diversity of perspectives joined us to design a transit network using limited resources. Attendees were given a fixed amount of bus service and had to decide which parts of a fictional city would be served and how:

  • with high frequency service that limits the geographic coverage of the city
  • more coverage that limits the frequency of transit
  • or something in between.

Transit agencies make this trade-off every day. There is never enough funding to go to everyone’s front door, and some parts of the city are better served by traditional bus service (higher density, more walkable) and others may be better suited to on-demand, flexible route service (lower density, less walkable).

The RideKC Next survey launched the same day as the workshop, seeking the same feedback, in an interactive way. To date, over 2,700 responses have been received.

The next step is to take those survey results and design a mobility network that will provide options for the future – including more microtransit coverage, better east/west service, and more reliable schedules.

The successful micro transit pilot in Johnson County received a significant boost with the introduction of Saturday service and a larger coverage area that includes the Overland Park Farmers Market. We welcome this new partnership with the cities of Overland Park and Lenexa, both new to funding public transportation.

Here are a few other Ridership highlights from the second quarter metrics dashboard:

  • RideKC Bus on-time performance was being tracked agency wide, which wasn’t providing visibility to route-specific performance issues. Going forward, we’ll be scrutinizing individual route performance and working across the agency to correct issues.
  • A new customer satisfaction survey – the first since 2016– will kick off in the fall and will now include bus, streetcar, paratransit and micromobility for the first time. Our 2019 goal was to increase overall satisfaction to 92%.
  • Average weekday bus ridership rose 0.43% in June 2019, the first year-over-year increase in 53 months.

Revenue

Our Cost Containment Strategy is now fully formed, with the help of consultants who have scoured our administrative expenses looking for cost savings and efficiencies over the next five years. Project teams are now in place and we’ll be tracking those savings starting in 2020. The strategic plan’s 2020 goals will be built around this strategy, ensuring complete focus for all KCATA employees on meeting those goals.

We’re also making progress with the conversation about regional funding for transit. Existing service is funded by a patchwork of dedicated KCMO sales taxes, general fund revenues from 10 other communities, and the special district for the streetcar. Regional funding across state, county and city lines will make service more equitable, provide better access to jobs, and allow truly regional services that don’t require transfers at the state line.

Revenue metric updates for the second quarter include:

  • Administrative cost controls resulted in $1,437,808 of savings.

Relationships

Operator attendance improved slightly in the second quarter. A cross-functional team is now reviewing additional policy changes to ensure we can deliver the service we’ve pledged to deliver and connect people to opportunities.

Prospect MAX hit the 50% construction completion mark in the second quarter. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements about the launch of this third bus rapid transit line coming in the third quarter. Some downtown stations that are critical connecting points for MAX and local routes – 12th & Grand and Petticoat & Main – are substantially complete and will reopen in the fall once operators have been trained to use the new level boarding platforms at these two sites.

New partnerships in the second quarter include:

As part of National Safety Month, KCATA, Johnson County, Unified Government, and the City of Independence renewed our transit relationship with Safe Place and entered into a new partnership with the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to promote transit as a safe place for everyone. Read more about the PrideKC campaign here.

KCATA donated unclaimed bicycles and gave a new life to used buses.

The agency exceeded our DBE participation goal (34% actual versus 15% goal) year over year and expanded our DBE outreach program to potential vendors.

If you have any questions about KCATA’s Mobility Momentum Strategic Plan or this first quarter update, contact us at https://ridekc.org/contact.