RideKC’s Service Restoration Plan

Date:May 28, 2020
Effective:May 28, 2020

RideKC Shares Plan to Restore Service

As the Kansas City region continues to deal with the effects of COVID-19, RideKC has created a framework to restore more service in the region. We are also planning to incorporate key recommendations in the RideKC Next system redesign. Central to our plan is connecting people to opportunities, and ensuring access to jobs and services at hospitals, other medical care, pharmacies, grocery and food services, and other essential services.    

The current situation in Kansas City – and the nation – remains fluid and unpredictable. Changing guidelines for businesses and schools impact how we provide transit service in the community. Economic forecasts for transit funding, which are heavily reliant on sales taxes, will also have an effect.

KCATA has updated its plan for restoring service.

With this plan, we will be adjusting bus service between Spring 2020 now and Spring 2021, with an ongoing focus on essential trips and services. The goal is to match service levels with actual and expected ridership, available staff, the need to maintain physical distancing on buses, as well as the need for frequent cleaning.

With those conditions in mind, here is RideKC’s current three-phase plan:

  • Phase 1 took effect May 31: Most routes continued to use Saturday schedules, offering later service on routes that previously ran after 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 
  • Phase 2 took effect August 2: Nearly 80% of pre-COVID service was restored, with a return to weekday frequency on several routes and more areas of coverage. Improvements were focused on areas with healthcare, grocery and food service, jobs and schools with in-person classes. The East Village Transit Center at 12th & Charlotte opened and 10th & Main Transit Center closed. This will continue to be the baseline of transit service into 2021.
  • Phase 3 is projected for later in 2021: RideKC should implement changes and enhancements proposed under the RideKC Next plan, which began development in 2019. This will further improve access to vital services in the region. RideKC expects some gains in service in areas where and when we see demand growing. 

In addition to changes made in conjunction with the Phased Service Restoration Plan, RideKC will continue to monitor service and will address overcrowding on an as needed basis.

RideKC Next was developed with significant public input. RideKC Next focused on:

  • A frequent grid, seven days a week, to connect more people to opportunity.
  • More people would live within a 1/2 mile of a frequent route.
  • A simpler, easier and more efficient network.
  • Retaining options for those who need transit the most.

RideKC routes operated by Unified Government Transit and Independence are maintaining their schedules at this time, although Independence, Mo., is looking at changes to service due to budget issues.

Currently, fares are suspended on all RideKC buses. However, fares and front-door boarding could be reinstated in 2021. RideKC will provide 30 days notice for customers to purchase fares through pass outlets, our online store or our official app, Transit.

As we move forward, we believe our phased service restoration will provide safe and reliable service for our current riders. We are continuing to evaluate ridership trends to make sure we are providing the right level of service. Your feedback throughout the coming year will be helpful. In addition to surveys, we are also continuing to monitor customer service complaints and compliments to pinpoint where boardings are limited due to distancing requirements. Your voice is important as we rebuild public transit in Kansas City. Please continue to provide feedback through surveys, our website, social media and the regional call center.

Thank you for your support, whether you are able to ride at this time or if you are waiting to return. We especially appreciate the kind words for our front-line employees who are getting the region’s workers to hospitals, offices, stores and more.

Please continue to check our website and social media channels for frequent updates and service status.


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