"RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Transportation topics in KC
flyingember
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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

That's why I keep bringing up transfers. Even where it's possible today we require transfers between routes based around geography. North to South should be one unified system as many places as possible.

Sure, you can't get rid of every transfer but each one removed is an improvement in the speed people can get from A to B. If you hop on the bus and it takes 30 minutes to get downtown and hop on a second bus and it takes 30 minutes to get to the plaza, removing a 10 minute transfer wait is removing 15% of the route time. That's a huge deal for a rider. We gave them back 83 hours per year.


I know combining 39 and 47 looks silly until you realize someone with problems walking and can't drive doesn't need to transfer to get from their home in West Plaza to the Westport Library. It's a simple change for so much more benefit. Many physical issues become a problem after too much walking and every foot counts.

Jobs keep coming up as a major the reason for the routing. It shouldn't take a transfer for every rider who doesn't live within walking distance of Grand to get to jobs in NKC. At least one line could continue on.
Last edited by flyingember on Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mean
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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by mean »

GRID wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:59 pm
It should be one system.
Yeah, I think most everyone here would agree with that.

And perhaps also agree that a large reason it's not is because of intermetro (mostly JoCo, but Independence isn't much better) distrust of KCMO to collect taxes from non-KCMO areas to fund it.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by normalthings »

GRID wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:59 pm
Sorry, I derailed the thread. As far as the topic and my comments. I took a quick look at transit systems in peer type cites and KC’s ridership, number of buses etc does seem significantly smaller than most similar sized cities.

I think the main reason for this is because the metro is so fragmented. You have Jackson County, which is basically geographically split up do to the the Blue River making bus routes to the eastern side of the county difficult with huge gaps of no develoment. Then you have the Northland where everything has to cross a bridge and get past large industrial areas. Then WyCo with another river and few interacting streets with KCMO. And finally you have the second largest county in the metro with its very limited bare bones system outside of some commuter routes. The county with as many jobs as Jackson has a bus system smaller than Springfield MO. The odd thing is that JoCo is basically an urban continuation of KCMO, much more than eastern Jackson County or the Northland. I mean till you can truly remove the state line and treat the system in the two most urbanized areas of the metro as one seamless system, it will never be half of what it should be. Just re branding the buses is not really getting it done. It should be one system.

Basically, KC's bus system is only comprehensibly covering the city from the river to plaza and state line to 435. So only a few hundred thousand people. The rest of the metro is barely covered at all and it's because of geography and politics.

Erase state line issues and properly fund it and KC should have a bus system that at least compares to Milwaukee or Columbus.
IIRC, STL has roughly doubly the ridership with double the budget. They have also benefitted from significant state funding for capital projects on both sides of the river. Our biggest problem is not having respectable transit funding outside of KCMO. I will also say that I think STL could have had a lot more ridership if they had been smarter with blowing money on MetroLink. But again, they did get a lot from both states to expand that system.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

Here's an official peer city transit report: https://www.marc.org/Transportation/Pla ... sit-Report

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Steve52
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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by Steve52 »

Maybe we need to stop obsessing with "peer cities" and use our own brain power to create a great system that works for everyone.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

Steve52 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:21 pm
Maybe we need to stop obsessing with "peer cities" and use our own brain power to create a great system that works for everyone.
Zero peer cities have the same geographical and political and budget and population situation as we do.

If you're trying to figure out how to best way to support car + bike + bus + ped on a five lane street go look at peer cities.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

Steve52 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:21 pm
Maybe we need to stop obsessing with "peer cities" and use our own brain power to create a great system that works for everyone.
Why would you not? That is really close minded.

Without even really knowing the details of KC's budget issues, it's quite obvious that the KC transit system is woefully underfunded and lacks comprehensive coverage if you travel around the country. It's also missing a lot of attributes that many mid sized transit systems have like proper transit centers, and things like commuter coach buses or even better direct routes to places like KCI. Connections between JoCo and KCMO look to still be pretty bad and that's if you can even find a route between them that works. If you never really see how transit functions in other cities, how do you know that you are creating a great system? It's the same reason many other cities now look at KC as an example of how to do streetcars.

This is why I'm a bit perplexed on KC trying to make it free too. The system is already severally underfunded at both the state and regional level (and because of that, it probably gets very little federal funding too). Making what is there free will make it nearly impossible to make the system better.

The streetcar is one of easiest, most straight forward streetcar lines in the country. It was well designed (well except that is should be in dedicated lanes or pedestrian/transit only streets in the downtown core). It will be one straight line to access most everything in the core. It doesn't have to be, nor should it be free in my opinion. It should still have great ridership free or not. The free thing might work in KC, but with the system already underfunded, I would be concerned about the ability of the system to ever expand or even go back to being a paid system without losing riders.

Anyway, this is about as silly as not looking at other airports to help you realize just how bad KCI has gotten compared to other airports. I mean do you want people to enjoy their experience in KC or not, because that experience will often be judged by experience in other cities.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by mean »

It's woefully underfunded because the only people who ride it fall in the middle of the Venn diagram of people who don't have a choice on the one side, and people who can afford the fare on the other. So all you're effectively doing by charging a fare at all is excluding those who are the most likely to benefit the most from being able to have reliable transportation to get to a job, while also implementing a sufficient barrier-to-entry to deter those who have choices. What's annual fare revenue, like $10 million? Compared to like $100 million ATA budget? I have a hard time imagining that 10% of the annual budget is going to make much of a difference regarding expansion or state/federal funding, whereas improvements in ridership just might.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

mean wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:26 pm
It's woefully underfunded because the only people who ride it fall in the middle of the Venn diagram of people who don't have a choice on the one side, and people who can afford the fare on the other. So all you're effectively doing by charging a fare at all is excluding those who are the most likely to benefit the most from being able to have reliable transportation to get to a job, while also implementing a sufficient barrier-to-entry to deter those who have choices. What's annual fare revenue, like $10 million? Compared to like $100 million ATA budget? I have a hard time imagining that 10% of the annual budget is going to make much of a difference regarding expansion or state/federal funding, whereas improvements in ridership just might.
KCATA's 2020 budget is $102 million, the last full year of fare revenue was $8 million.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

Last chance to review the draft plan and take the survey before it closed on March 31! http://ridekcnext.org/

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

GRID wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:36 pm
The streetcar is one of easiest, most straight forward streetcar lines in the country. It was well designed (well except that is should be in dedicated lanes or pedestrian/transit only streets in the downtown core). It will be one straight line to access most everything in the core. It doesn't have to be, nor should it be free in my opinion. It should still have great ridership free or not.
While I agree with your sentiment I thoroughly reject the conclusion that it shouldn’t be free. Two fairly similar lines in other cities, OKC & Cincinnati, have systems quite comparable to our own in utility and functionality, both have pay-to-ride systems, albeit a measly $1 fare. However, that’s enough to plummet ridership. In its first year (14 months actually) of operation the OKC streetcar has only recorded ridership of half a million. Cincinnati’s streetcar has an opening day that doubled KC’s opening day numbers, however there daily ridership hovers around 2000-2300, some months are half that. Yes we can always argue that differences in these cities can affect these numbers, but people like the ease of use of a free system, and are much more inclined to utilize a system like that. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter on the other side though!
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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by Riverite »

Anthony_Hugo98 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 3:51 pm
GRID wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:36 pm
The streetcar is one of easiest, most straight forward streetcar lines in the country. It was well designed (well except that is should be in dedicated lanes or pedestrian/transit only streets in the downtown core). It will be one straight line to access most everything in the core. It doesn't have to be, nor should it be free in my opinion. It should still have great ridership free or not.
While I agree with your sentiment I thoroughly reject the conclusion that it shouldn’t be free. Two fairly similar lines in other cities, OKC & Cincinnati, have systems quite comparable to our own in utility and functionality, both have pay-to-ride systems, albeit a measly $1 fare. However, that’s enough to plummet ridership. In its first year (14 months actually) of operation the OKC streetcar has only recorded ridership of half a million. Cincinnati’s streetcar has an opening day that doubled KC’s opening day numbers, however there daily ridership hovers around 2000-2300, some months are half that. Yes we can always argue that differences in these cities can affect these numbers, but people like the ease of use of a free system, and are much more inclined to utilize a system like that. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter on the other side though!
I agree keeping it free, and the entire system will drive ridership. Our city is woefully spread out, keeping transit free and getting people to ride it are key to getting more funding. It’s not like we could ever find our transit through fares alone, but if everyone sees the benefit we can find more through taxes

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by earthling »

Adding fares would complicate boarding, fare purchasing, streetcar stop logistics, etc. It's also a very successful example of what TDD can pull off. What's so great about the current setup is that the streetcar is really a horizontal elevator to various downtown districts. It's seamlessly tied together not having to deal with fares and boarding hassles. Will be different with the extensions as the streetcar will someone play more of a commuter line role but keeping it simple/easy/free is the way to go.

Fares aren't needed so why even go there. Need to head other direction... fareless bus... permanently.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by normalthings »

earthling wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:00 pm
Fares aren't needed so why even go there. Need to head other direction... fareless bus... permanently.
Fareless Bus + Bi County/State transit tax

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

normalthings wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:27 pm
earthling wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:00 pm
Fares aren't needed so why even go there. Need to head other direction... fareless bus... permanently.
Fareless Bus + Bi County/State transit tax
The 1/8th cent sales tax to rehab union station was a quad county, bi state sales tax, the first of its kind in the U.S. so it’s not like it can’t be done here, because we have done it here, it’s just all about how we would sell it to the region.
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