"RideKC Next" transit system redesign

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DaveKCMO
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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

kcmiz wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:48 pm
What’s the status of Jarrett Walker’s company’s redesign of the bus network?

Free bus service is noble. But a free bus ride is pretty worthless if it takes most people 1hr+ each way to get where they need to go.

The network desperately needs a redesign and increased frequency in high traffic routes to be of any real value to riders.
Draft plan published in February. Implementation in July. I'm looking over the plan now and you'll be pleased.

I can't guarantee every trip will now be under an hour because, ya know, geometry, but access to jobs will improve. This city is too big!

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

Short distances certainly help.

I have reasons I can’t but the bus to work would be about the same as driving if I included a bike in the mix. Not so horrible it couldn’t work.

My last job the routes don’t line up well and there was a bus stop outside the main entrance. To make it to work by 730am when I started I would need to be on the bus by 6am. Leaving work at 430 it would be after 630 when I would get home. That’s a 30 minute drive and I’m not in a far suburb that’s hard to serve, I’m closerto downtown than Brookside

I’m bullish on the redesign because there a need to cut transfers to cross the river, especially the lack of a plaza to northland route. Single seat from NKC to Plaza is likely the most glaring missing piece in the system, and it’s not like it hasn’t come up in decades of city transit plans (rail)

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

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flyingember wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:43 pm
Single seat from NKC to Plaza is likely the most glaring missing piece in the system, and it’s not like it hasn’t come up in decades of city transit plans (rail)
While that might work for you, there's no indication that would induce any significant ridership gains. The #1 destination from the Northland is downtown, and transfers will loom large in the redesigned network to eliminate inefficiencies.

Rail plans that did that were politically engineered and always failed.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:10 pm
flyingember wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:43 pm
Single seat from NKC to Plaza is likely the most glaring missing piece in the system, and it’s not like it hasn’t come up in decades of city transit plans (rail)
While that might work for you, there's no indication that would induce any significant ridership gains. The #1 destination from the Northland is downtown, and transfers will loom large in the redesigned network to eliminate inefficiencies.

Rail plans that did that were politically engineered and always failed.
What about the other direction? There's a huge number of blue collar jobs in NKC and it takes a transfer from the east side to reach them.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by smh »

flyingember wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:29 am
DaveKCMO wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:10 pm
flyingember wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:43 pm
Single seat from NKC to Plaza is likely the most glaring missing piece in the system, and it’s not like it hasn’t come up in decades of city transit plans (rail)
While that might work for you, there's no indication that would induce any significant ridership gains. The #1 destination from the Northland is downtown, and transfers will loom large in the redesigned network to eliminate inefficiencies.

Rail plans that did that were politically engineered and always failed.
What about the other direction? There's a huge number of blue collar jobs in NKC and it takes a transfer from the east side to reach them.
A grid network is going to involve transfers. The key is making sure the bus comes frequently enough that transferring isn't a chore.

Dave, are there any networks where the buses "talk" to each other via some means other than the horn? I'm curious if drivers might be trained to be aware of upcoming transfer points and hold another bus if they're 30 seconds behind schedule so riders aren't faced with an extended wait. Probably some ripple effects from that I haven't considered but I've been curious about it.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

Is it any wonder bus riders that live closer to the Plaza than someone in Brookside or Waldo lives to Downtown *don't* work at the Plaza? The system is designed to penalize them compared to buying a car.

There's a much better example with 21 and 234


21 takes a rider from 75th and Prospect, over to Jackson. It goes into the east bottoms to reach Chouteau and Antioch Mall. So a part of town that is always talked about needing jobs, access to grocery and such.

234 takes someone from Antioch Mall all the way to Tiffany Springs. It goes past lots of offices, shopping, a hospital

They're both hourly
They both go to the exact same spot at one end
The meeting point requires riders to wait 30-40 minutes to transfer based on the schedule

If we take the transfer out and 21 replaces all of 234 it's 1.5 hours to ride the bus from end to end on this super long route. The transfer is making the route 2+ hours needlessly.



24 and 233 is another pairing during the weekday. I could see having *some* of the busses on 24 going all the way to Antioch. This would provide a one seat ride for this cooridor. At peak they're both every 15 and now you've connected the east side to a hospital and thousands of NKC blue collar jobs. Take another another portion of 24 service and combine it with 101.
So now instead of one route on Indep Ave there's two. There's no new busses needed, the routes are longer.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by smh »

https://ridekc.org/planning/ridekc-next

Draft network plan published it appears. Looks very good.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

smh wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:55 pm
https://ridekc.org/planning/ridekc-next

Draft network plan published it appears. Looks very good.
There's too much to comment on everything but There's still one big failure area.

It's still four different bus systems. So many of the problems aren't frequency but transfers. An every 30 route does no good if you have to transfer to a line that's 15 minutes different. It might as well come less often and shrink the transfer so you're not waiting in the weather An ever 60 minute line where you take away 15 minutes of transfer time by combining lines is a huge improvement.

We should be truncating slow lines as soon as possible at high capacity high frequency lines. Like new route 18 shouldn't exist. Instead there should be lines E-W that feed people into a Max route.

There's still too many routes coming into downtown from the northland and too many transfers between routes north and routes south. 21 at Antioch Center is the worst since people living a couple miles on either side of the mall can end up with a 30 minute wait between busses

If the goal is to reduce suburban drivers needing parking spaces downtown, at the Plaza, etc this doesn't do it.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by kboish »

Dave, there is a lot to like in the draft plan. There are some changes that will take adjustment for existing riders, but I like the overall grid and transfer layout.

Given that the new layout will eliminate my existing route and completely change how I get to/from work, I've got a suggestion/question:

Can the RideKC app let me test the new routes in the Trip Planner function prior to the roll out? It would be helpful to have a tab on the app that gives me an automated "best" route suggestion to get to my destination with the new design so I can mentally prepare for it. I am sure I can figure it out on my own, but its nice to have an algorithm reinforce my intuition and limit the time I spend thinking about the change. :P

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

We are working with Transit app — which will replace the RideKC app later this year — on a comparison feature that would allow you to look at existing and proposed schedules. Won’t be ready until Summer when the draft schedules are done. Expect some hands on travel training for those who need it.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by DaveKCMO »

flyingember wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:55 pm
smh wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:55 pm
https://ridekc.org/planning/ridekc-next

Draft network plan published it appears. Looks very good.
There's too much to comment on everything but There's still one big failure area.

It's still four different bus systems. So many of the problems aren't frequency but transfers. An every 30 route does no good if you have to transfer to a line that's 15 minutes different. It might as well come less often and shrink the transfer so you're not waiting in the weather An ever 60 minute line where you take away 15 minutes of transfer time by combining lines is a huge improvement.

We should be truncating slow lines as soon as possible at high capacity high frequency lines. Like new route 18 shouldn't exist. Instead there should be lines E-W that feed people into a Max route.

There's still too many routes coming into downtown from the northland and too many transfers between routes north and routes south. 21 at Antioch Center is the worst since people living a couple miles on either side of the mall can end up with a 30 minute wait between busses

If the goal is to reduce suburban drivers needing parking spaces downtown, at the Plaza, etc this doesn't do it.
The redesign of the KCMO bus network -- still the largest share of transit funding in the region -- can only fix problems with KCMO-funded routes. Regional funding is required to resolve the issue you're asking to be addressed with KCMO resources. Job access is a huge problem to Johnson County and from Wyandotte County; only a dedicated source of funds with some sort of carve-out for regionally connected services will solve that problem.

Also, one bus route can do multiple things. We do a lot of that already that's invisible to the public with interlining. But the new Route 40 is an example of taking the productive parts of multiple routes and combining them into one that provides a single-seat ride into downtown that maintains coverage while allowing us to eliminate duplication or diversions in routes 47, 51, 52, 57, and Main MAX.

Downtown is still the #1 job center in the region, and is now even more diverse due to the increase in service industry jobs. Route 18 exists today and is quite productive. In fact, almost every route that's been retained is reasonably productive (judged by boardings per hour) except for some in the Northland that are being retained to ensure geographic coverage. That coverage was dictated by the 2,700 survey responses we got asking how aggressive to be with the ridership vs. coverage dilemma. The new plan shifts us from 50/50 to 60/40 and makes all of the ridership investments where there is need and where transit can be even more productive (urban core and access to downtown).

The goal of the plan is not to reduce suburban drivers (other policy changes are required for that, like increase the cost of driving either through parking pricing or supply). The goal of the plan is to increase access to opportunity for those who need it most (judged by income and household access to cars using 2016 ACS data) and to stem ridership declines. We can quantitatively say the draft plan does the former, but cannot guarantee it does the latter.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:23 pm

Also, one bus route can do multiple things. We do a lot of that already that's invisible to the public with interlining. But the new Route 40 is an example of taking the productive parts of multiple routes and combining them into one that provides a single-seat ride into downtown that maintains coverage while allowing us to eliminate duplication or diversions in routes 47, 51, 52, 57, and Main MAX.
What does the travel time analysis look like if every route that can be combined (same frequency) are combined instead of terminating at a transfer spot?


238/239 branches and 85
One seat ride from the east side to NKC


201 and new 40
Living in Crestview (42nd/N Oak) and working at 39th and Broadway shouldn't require a transfer. That's ~20 minutes by car. Removing a transfer drops ~10-20% of the time spent on the bus


35 and 11 as a loop
Living in Roanoke and working at Boulevard shouldn't require a transfer. More interestingly this would become a giant loop. Could run clockwise/counter clockwise loops. Would reduce a transfer at the VA too going to/from either side of it.

take the low frequency section of 31 and extend 27
creates a one seat ride to the stadiums from downtown instead of having to transfer to mmax. I bet more people would love a single seat to downtown than more frequency across the east side and a transfer north

take the low frequency section of 47 and extend 21
It adds a transfer to the Plaza but to get downtown from northern Raytown was one transfer before and it is still one transfer but creates way more options to more parts of the east side into the areas just NW of Raytown


47 and 39. Remove the terminating loop on 47 and both routes work as a giant U shaped route.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

So this is a serious question. Is the KCATA mostly small buses now? Whenever I’m in KC, most of the metro buses I see roaming around the city outside the max buses are the shorter buses rather than the typical 40’ buses you see in larger cities. Whenever I see them, It always makes me think of Jeff City or Joplin’s transit system. It’s not really a negative, I was just seriously wondering if KC is getting away from larger buses or if I just happen to see a lot of short buses when I’m there. Probably makes sense to cover long sprawly routes with low ridership, but seeing more of the short ones than the normal ones seems odd.

I have always wondered why KC doesn’t have articulated or commuter coach buses either (again pretty typical in most major cities to at least have some of each). I’m assuming it’s a funding issue like everything else.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by earthling »

^No there are still many regular sized if not most. And I'd rather have smaller/regular sized buses running more often than double length running less often. KC obviously doesn't have the ridership levels to justify it of course. What matters to many regular riders is frequency of service and coverage, moreso than the mode of transit.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by mean »

I don't think mostly. Maybe halfish? Just a guess based on the anecdotal frequency I seem to see large vs small buses. Of course, where I live I mostly see and/or ride the 24/9/12/15 buses, and they are all 40' as far as I've seen.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

earthling wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:07 pm
^No there are still many regular sized if not most. And I'd rather have smaller/regular sized buses running more often than double length running less often. KC obviously doesn't have the ridership levels to justify it of course. What matters to most regular riders is frequency of service, not the mode of transit.
I agree on the frequency thing. I travel and do a lot of photography for transit systems and I just don't see a lot of short buses in larger metros. Even places like Omaha mostly run regular sized buses. You can sit at a suburban transit center in Columbus Ohio where buses come every few minutes and they are all full sized. So it seems like KC is kind of going against the grain a little from my experience. Again, not that it matters unless the buses are full, but it tells me that ridership on most of KC's bus routes outside the max lines are very low ridership.

I grew up on Blue Ridge Blvd and used the 28 and 28X for years along with many others. Full size buses would come every 15-30 minutes all day long. I never even needed a schedule. Now when I'm in that area, you occasionally even see a bus and half the time they are short ones. Even 47 is short now I think. And I used to have the entire ATA pretty much memorized and have noticed the same in other parts of the city. So when I'm in town, the system feels like a fraction of what it used to be only now there is a downtown streetcar the max routes. Although I still consider the MAX routes to be just normal bus city bus routes in most cities. The stops are nicer than most, but other than that, there is nothing about those routes that is a major difference from any other bus route. When I worked at crown center or downtown, I could walk down to the street and a bus that would go north or south would come every minute or so. Didn't matter which bus route it was as most went toward the plaza or downtown, just anything to get north or south. Now, even with MAX, it seems like overall frequency of having a bus come is much less. But the max buses are a little nicer than most KCATA buses.

One more thing and again, I'm really not slamming KC here. I'm just a transit nerd in general. That 3-Trails Transit Center? It looks like a shelter over a restroom you might find in a local park. I would hardly call that a transit center. And the one going in downtown is the same on a relative scale. Really really tiny for the downtown of a major city. It just seems like outside of the streetcar and maybe the max bus stops, the KC bus system is severely downsized and even future plans don't seem to match what should exist in a city the size of KC.

I know the KCATA is doing the best they can with their funding I'm sure. KC has little regional or state funding for transit. So it's not like the KCATA is not trying. The entire system just seems extremely underfunded and it's still very fragmented across the metro. The max lines are good bus routes, but the rest of the city and metro is just not a very robust system at all.

Just my thoughts, sorry.
Last edited by GRID on Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

And speaking of short buses, maybe the new airport will get rid of them. Those blue parking buses were terrible when the airport was busy. Not that I use them anymore as I use the rental car buses which are much better being full size, except they suck too because KCI doesn't separate arrivals from departures.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by normalthings »

GRID wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:32 pm
And speaking of short buses, maybe the new airport will get rid of them. Those blue parking buses were terrible when the airport was busy. Not that I use them anymore as I use the rental car buses which are much better being full size, except they suck too because KCI doesn't separate arrivals from departures.
They are starting to transition to newer, electric buses. I have only riden them once or twice and it seemed to be the same size as the old ones.

An automated people mover may be coming in the near future to replace both the parking and CONCRAC buses.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:29 pm
GRID wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:32 pm
And speaking of short buses, maybe the new airport will get rid of them. Those blue parking buses were terrible when the airport was busy. Not that I use them anymore as I use the rental car buses which are much better being full size, except they suck too because KCI doesn't separate arrivals from departures.
They are starting to transition to newer, electric buses. I have only riden them once or twice and it seemed to be the same size as the old ones.

An automated people mover may be coming in the near future to replace both the parking and CONCRAC buses.
I saw that somewhere about the people mover thing. That would be pretty cool and it would work very well with the new terminal. Would make people walk further in the parking lots though since the people move won't go all over the parking lots. I would personally still much prefer a people mover especially for the RCF.

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Re: "RideKC Next" transit system redesign

Post by GRID »

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.

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