(Kansas City, Mo. – September 18, 2012) The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Ks. (UG), and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) break ground on the Midtown KCK MetroCenter at 47th & State Ave. at 10 a.m. tomorrow, September 19, 2012.
The new transit center will not only make transferring and waiting for bus connections more comfortable, safer and convenient, it will also help spur economic development in the surrounding area and throughout the corridor.
“The new $4.5 million Midtown MetroCenter will become a hub for economic development,” says Mayor Joe Reardon. “We’re truly grateful to the combined partnerships with the KCATA, MARC, Area Agency on Aging and the KCKPD, which makes this project the most significant investment made in public transit to date and will undoubtedly serve as an essential project to begin the transformation of the Indian Springs site.”
Key to the transit center improvements is the addition of an 11,000 square foot facility that is also being built that will deliver added transit value to the community. This facility will feature:
When the Midtown KCK MetroCenter opens in August 2013, it will accommodate eight buses. However, it can be expanded to accommodate 12 buses if needed for future development. The Downtown KCK MetroCenter is also under construction at 7th & Minnesota Ave. The new transit centers will feature improved customer waiting areas, as well as real-time passenger information. At the centers and along the route, KCATA and UG will build passenger shelters and benches, add bus stop platforms and landscaping, and improve pedestrian connections.
Ridership for all Metro and Unified Government bus routes in Kansas City, Ks., is projected to surpass 1.3 million riders this year. This represents a 15 percent increase over 2010.
“More and more people are figuring out that transit is an excellent way to save money and go green,” said KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer. “We are excited to partner with the Unified Government to bring better facilities and a better passenger experience to our transit customers in Kansas City, Ks.”
State Ave./KCK Connex improvements will be made along the 14-mile transit route that begins at the 10th & Main MetroCenter in downtown Kansas City, Mo., travels through downtown Kansas City, Ks., and ends at Village West at 109th & Parallel Parkway. KCATA, in partnership with the Unified Government, is making these improvements in the State Avenue Corridor with funding from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and ARRA grant.
The total project represents a $13 million infrastructure investment, funded primarily through the TIGER grant program. Additional sources include ARRA, the Federal Transit Administration and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Ks. Street and sidewalk improvements are expected to be complete in January 2013, with full transit center completion in August 2013.