Main Street MAX

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Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Wed Oct 09, 2002 11:50 am

Anybody hear anything on the Bus Rapid Transit line that was being thought about from City Market to the Plaza?

I'm sure Prop B failing didn't help with this at all.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCgridlock » Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:12 pm

No, but I'm sure the star will reserch it on its upcoming series on downtown transportation issues and needs.

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:11 pm

at least 3 years out according to the Star on Sunday....seems about right.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCgridlock » Tue Nov 26, 2002 12:49 pm

In today's paper:

DEVELOPMENT: Bus rapid transit effort may be running on fumes
By KEVIN COLLISON
Columnist







Last April, Mark Huffer, Kansas City's top transit official, told downtown leaders that bus rapid transit would be in place between the River Market and Country Club Plaza within three years.

It sure sounded good. It certainly is a no-brainer to want to connect the major urban core attractions -- downtown, Crown Center, Westport, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Plaza -- with a frequent, fast and cool mass transit system.

As recently as two weeks ago, economic development guru Richard Florida was in town describing those places as our "creative corridor." A zone where lovers of urban living and their sympathizers could flourish.

And in its recent series, "Mending Our Broken Heart," The Kansas City Star cited bus rapid transit as one of the top 10 major projects that could help revitalize downtown.

All that being said, I have a sinking feeling bus rapid transit won't meet the deadline -- now less than 30 months out -- cited by Huffer and echoed by Mayor Kay Barnes.

Right now, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is uncertain whether it can keep its current bus system rolling because of its serious budget woes.

It is about to drop the Downtowner, the little 25-cent shuttle bus that runs between Crown Center and City Market. Not a good sign that bigger and better things are on the way.

The ATA folks are going to need a major-league, politically savvy champion if they are going to fulfill their bus rapid transit vision.

Someone who can get the estimated $60 million it will cost, obtain special lane rights on busy arteries, acquire land for new stations, buy the unique vehicles and modify dozens of traffic signals -- all before April 2005.

You want to stop a conversation fast? Ask community leaders who might be willing to take on that challenge. The silence says everything.

City Hall? Nope. The Downtown Council? Uh-uh. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce? Negative. The citizens? While a solid majority said downtown needs more transit in a recent poll, light rail has failed four times at the polls.

The former champions of light rail? Well, their support appears to be lukewarm. Many remain skeptical about bus rapid transit and cling to the hope that light rail may live again.

The only cavalry on the horizon appears to be Sen. Kit Bond, who shifted $8 million from the federal funding set aside for light rail to help plan for bus rapid transit.

Bond will be the new chairman of the public works subcommittee on transportation and infrastructure and will have a big role next year in rewriting the federal highway bill -- which includes mass transit.

Bond, who already has brought home plenty of bacon for downtown Kansas City, is ready to help find more for bus rapid transit when local leaders tell him what they want, an aide said.

The crucial time will be January, when the Mid-America Regional Council will come out with its specific recommendations on pursuing regional transportation needs, including bus rapid transit.

At that point, we'll find out whether Kansas City is serious about becoming a great city. Bus rapid transit between downtown and the Plaza is a small step compared with what our peer cities are doing with mass transit.

Let's get rolling.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To reach Kevin Collison, development reporter, call (816) 234-4289 or send e-mail to kcollison@kcstar.com.

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCgridlock » Tue Nov 26, 2002 12:52 pm

KC transit is already comparing to cities like Toledo, Des Moines etc. If they don't get some more funding, it will get even worse. The metro is going to cut service AGAIN by 20 percent in 2004, there won't be much left after that. Hope they get the bistate transit plan to the voters soon.

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Tue Nov 26, 2002 1:55 pm

Yeah BRT might be in trouble w/o some cash coming in.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby QueSi2Opie » Tue Nov 26, 2002 11:24 pm

BiState transportation tax will fail! JOCO = Love for SUVs
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:26 am

Is there real talk about Bistate II going for transportation? BRT line, JOCO commuter rail, I like it.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:53 am

BRT is alive and well....ATA is planning still. There is an article in this month's "Kansas City" magazine about it....sounds like a great, cheaper way to link the city up.

Plan on running in 2005....big dreams but I hope so.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby ignatius » Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:13 pm

I've emailed the ATA a few months ago and they said a starter BRT line will start this summer. It will use the intended light-rail looking buses and test routes but will not control the traffic lights for a couple more years.

That was a few months ago but I don't know if a summer trial is still a reality. Anyone have an inside to check on this?

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:16 pm

Wow, that would be awesome....
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby bahua » Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:56 pm

I would ride, like a fox!

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby dangerboy » Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:44 pm

ATA's application for funds from MARC indicates that they plan to begin running the starter service in May, and intend for it to be replaced with real BRT within three years.

PDF: http://www.marc.org/transportation/cmaq ... df#page=19

It is supposed to run 18 hours per day 7 days a week, with frequencies between 20 and 40 minutes. Let's hope they market the hell out of this thing, since they failed to do that with the Downtowner. This corridor already has plenty of bus service, but a single easy-to-use and highly visible route would be great for visitors and commuters.

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:54 pm

awesome find.....only problem I have is 20-40 minutes? seems like a big gap in time...kind of hard to test when the real thing would be 5-10 minute intervals.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Apr 14, 2003 4:04 pm

sounds like no new buses, just repainted buses....that's alright....good way to start.......market the thing and let's get moving on a good link for city market to plaza.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby dangerboy » Mon Apr 14, 2003 4:25 pm

They would probably need to double the number of buses to get 5-10 minute intervals, which wouldn't make much sense when they are gonna buy new buses just for the BRT in a few years.

We already have a good link. The 56 and 57 routes run 20 minutes between the 10th and Main transit plaza and the J.C. Nichols fountain, while #51 hits the west side of the Plaza. The transit plaza is 5 blocks from the city market, which I think is a reasonable distance. The 173 (casino shuttle) stops at 5th and Grand, and you can transfer to the others at 10th and Main.

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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Apr 14, 2003 5:28 pm

yeah but it's obvious 90% of the people here can't read a bus schedule....a flashy bus is the only thing they will ride...if it hits city market to the plaza with great frequency....or else they will get frustrated and just jump into their car.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby ignatius » Mon Apr 14, 2003 10:28 pm

That's somewhat good news but 20-minute service is not enough to attract ridership. And it's not frequent enough to take for lunch or run errands as I used to do with the Dowtnowner. With 20-minute gaps, you still need to refer to a schedule.

Ten-minute service is necessary for fluid urban living. The Downtower had this and was great. They should have kept it and extended a Midtowner based at Union Station to the Plaza.

At least this 'spine' line may be easier to understand than the 56/57/51 lines. If it runs in ADDITION to 56/57/51, it would at least allow for more frequency of all lines combined. I look forward to checking it out but hope the ATA can pull off BRT sooner with 10-minute service.

The ATA needs to work with business along the lines and suggest they place in their Pitch ad or whatever (especially those with no/limited parking), "We're just one-block W of the 17th/Main SPINE bus stop." This might suggest to car-minded people that it's actually OK to ride the bus.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Apr 14, 2003 10:33 pm

I bet 56/57/51 are discontinued and made into E-W feeder routes.

Wish they could get a couple more buses to make it more like 10 minute service.
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Re: Main Street MAX

Postby dangerboy » Mon Apr 14, 2003 10:35 pm

The problem with the Downtowner was that they funded it with a time-limited federal grant and didn't have replacement funding lined up except for the failed Prop. B.

This isn't BRT, it's BRT Lite or something. The real thing will be more frequent. The 51/56/57 routes are somewhat staggered. I haven't been a regular bus rider for a couple of years, but I remember the net benefit of the three being less than 20 minutes.


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