Success for MAX’s Move to Grand

Date:July 30, 2018
Success for MAX’s Move to Grand

The results are in, and changes to Main MAX’s downtown route have provided faster, on-time buses on one of RideKC’s top routes. From October 2017 to June 2018, Main MAX buses were on-time on weekdays over 92% on average. That big improvement comes from a major change to the route.

In October 2017, Main MAX’s route was moved so that buses stay on Grand through Downtown Kansas City, Mo., from 3rd Street near City Market to Crown Center. North of Crown Center, Main MAX originally crisscrossed downtown along 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th streets. Over the last 13 years, downtown has grown around the route, adding residents and businesses. Combine the numerous turns on the old route, added traffic and frequent construction detours, and the effect made Main MAX late far too often.

RideKC measures how frequently a bus is late with a statistic we describe as “on-time performance.” That percentage shows how often of a bus is on schedule.

For the year of 2016, Main MAX’s on-time performance was just under 83% on weekdays, and around 75% on weekends. But there was a lot of variance in how often a bus was late. In the month of September 2016, buses were on time just 73% of the time on weekdays and less than 70% on weekends. Working with input from riders and stakeholders, RideKC developed a plan to streamline MAX’s downtown route by traveling on Grand, with connections to the transit corridors at 11th and 12th.

Now, overall on-time performance is more than 90%.

That’s great news for riders traveling in downtown, midtown, Country Club Plaza, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Brookside and Waldo. Main MAX also connects to many of RideKC’s routes that travel east and west, including those that connect at 11th and 12th streets.

“Customer response to this change has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Chuck Ferguson, Vice President of Regional Planning and Marketing. “For transit riders, reliability is one of the most important aspects of service. And by simplifying the route to run in a straight line, it’s easy for current customers and new riders to understand where the bus goes.”

The move of Main MAX to Grand isn’t complete. RideKC is getting ready to improve the MAX stops at 11th & Grand with shelters, benches and real-time arrival information. Construction is expected to begin later in 2018. More shelters and real-time information is being planned for Grand, but a construction schedule is not set.

From downtown to the Plaza, Main MAX offers service every 10 minutes during the day on weekdays, and every 15 minutes in the evening. Saturday daytime service is every 15 minutes. On Saturday nights and all day on Saturday, Main MAX runs every 30 minutes.

From downtown to Brookside and Waldo, Main MAX offers service every 20 minutes during the day on weekdays, and every 30 minutes in the evening. On weekends, service between downtown and Waldo runs every 30 minutes.

Cause for Celebration

The first day of the new service was celebrated with a family-friendly event at Washington Square Park with free food, prizes and games encouraging riders to “Catch the MAX on Grand."

Jolie Justus
Councilwoman Jolie Justus, KCATA CEO Robbie Makinen and his service dog Loki enjoy the festivities in the park. Justus displays her long-standing commitment to transit with a throwback "Metro" t-shirt. 

Group at MAX to Grand celebration
Tranist riders learn about ways to get involved in local organizations.

DJ at the MAX party
A dj gets the party going at Washington Square Park. 

Balloon animals
There were plenty of activities and games at the Catch the MAX on Grand event, including balloon animals, bounce houses, frisbee toss and more.