Swifter, Smoother Service Goal Of New Pilot Project
(Kansas City, Mo. – Sept. 24, 2015) Swift, smooth and safe. Those are the goals of a new pilot project under way at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to ensure quality bus service for thousands of riders.
Starting October 4, KCATA is strategically removing under-used bus stops along six routes. Reducing the number of stops and starts will provide a smoother ride and help keep buses on time. Phase I includes six routes for the improvements: 25-Troost, 24-Independence, 30-Northeast, 121-Cleveland/Antioch, 108-Indiana and 173-Casino Cruiser. The next phase will focus on downtown stops.
Bus stops selected for removal are based on a number of factors, including the number of boardings at those locations, the proximity of nearby stops, as well as safe access to the stops from the street and sidewalks. KCATA reviewed the number of people boarding at each bus stop. In some cases, the average number of daily boardings was at or near zero.
Removing closely placed stops that are rarely used should ensure buses operate on time and provide more reliability for transit riders. It also will allow KCATA to concentrate upkeep and improvements at stops where ridership is higher.
The effect of the pilot will reduce the number of bus stops clustered so closely together. For example, there are about nine bus stops every mile on the southbound Troost route. When the plan is implemented, there will be about five stops every mile. There are now about eight stops every mile on the Northeast route. After stops are removed, there will be about five stops every mile.
Chuck Ferguson, the KCATA’s chief planning officer, briefed the KCATA’s Board of Commissioners on the plan Wednesday afternoon.
He told the board that planners are eager for public comment for the proposed changes. “We are embracing the opportunity to engage the public on a plan we hope provides top-flight bus service,” Ferguson said. “The results of this pilot will help us plan for future stop improvements on other routes.