Welcome to the RideKC blog, the new forum for all things transit. As the new president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, I am proud to lead an agency with the vision of connecting people to opportunity. It is our goal to build a single, interconnected transit system that gives people the ability to seamlessly move around our region.
Today, our bus system is a passport to employers, retailers, schools, doctors and entertainment. But to realize a transit system that truly benefits our residents and contributes to positive economic growth, we must overcome the obstacles standing in the way of a fully developed multimodal system.
As an example, only 18 percent of jobs in the greater Kansas City region are accessible to transit within 90 minutes. And only about half of working-age residents live near a transit stop. We are approaching these challenges in a collaborative way with our regional partners. Thanks to these partnerships, we now manage the transit services in Johnson County and expect to begin management of Independence transit July 1. Step by step, we are moving the region closer to a borderless system for our customers.
We are very excited to be introducing a new regional brand, RideKC, which you will start seeing on buses across the area. Also in development is a regional plan for effectively using transit to get people to work. And we are creating a simpler regional fare structure and building a more centralized and cohesive paratransit network.
These are just a few of the stories we will share with you on our new blog. We want to keep you up-to-date on regional efforts to connect people to opportunity, and talk about how our local initiatives relate to what’s happening nationally. We also will give you some of the nitty-gritty of our operations, such as how ridership is doing and profiles of the people riding transit.
Our transit system has an important story to tell in Kansas City. We think you will find it compelling. So climb on board and read along.