TransitKC

Archive for the 'General' Category

Pitch’s Best of KC 2012 Reader’s Choice list!

The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City 2012 was released today and kclightrail.com made the Reader’s Choice list for Best Local Blog! Granted, #3 filed under the Reader’s Choice section — there isn’t a editorial choice for Best Local Blog — isn’t exactly earth-shattering, but we’ll take it.

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Round-up: Transit news while we were out

Here are some local and national transit headlines from the two weeks we were away:

KANSAS CITY

MISSOURI

KANSAS

NATIONAL

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A message for transportation advocates

We recorded the above message for advocates with Dan Johnson-Weinberger, a lobbyist for the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, at their annual meeting over the weekend. Dan’s message is basically to keep it local by talking to your local elected officials first (mayor, council, aldermen), then having them talk to their state and federal counterparts.

While Sens. Bond or Brownback may not take a personal call from you, they will take one from your mayor.

Feel free to pass the message on to others.

A perfect example of this groundswell is the recent success in Kansas. Bipartisan majorities supported a bill that enables (but does not fund) state-sponsored passenger rail service in the state… something that, until recently, was widely touted as forbidden by the state’s constitution. Grassroots advocates sought resolutions of support from every city council along the proposed route, encouraging their legislators to act.

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No posts until January

We’re taking a break from posting until January. By that time, KC will have a 2010 transit budget and an answer from the US DOT on whether the modern streetcar funding request is approved.

As of yet, there’s still no second stimulus on which Mike Sanders can hang his commuter rail hat. Meanwhile, Clay Chastain has until summer to collect enough signatures for his latest light rail plan. Construction on Troost BRT is underway, but stations won’t be visible until late summer. Johnson County Transit is offering temporary holiday service between Mission and the Plaza.

In the interim, please follow us on Twitter @kclightrail.

Happy Holidays!

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Round-up: This week in local transit

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Chastain returning with one-two punch

Chastain Map

Punch #1 – Another light/commuter rail plan. PrimeBuzz has the details.
Punch #2 – Strip the City Council’s ability to invalidate petition initiatives.

We’ve maintained that Chastain’s motivation actually seems quite pure and is valuable in keeping the city’s feet to the fire on transit improvements. Our system is undeniably underfunded and has yet to make the leap from poor-people mover to economic development engine.

BRT, commuter rail, and streetcars are all great proposals, but none of them will ever come to fruition if our operational funding isn’t significantly increased (and preferably on a truly regional basis).

Regarding Punch #2, the Council will never live down repealing the only successful vote on light rail, flawed as it was. Since that first repeal of a petition initiative didn’t go so well, expect voters to do some punishing.

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Transportation Committee 2.0

The City Council’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is now blogging. Commenting is not enabled.

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Ozone season begins today

Ozone season officially begins in the KC metro today, but with fare increases and service cuts on the horizon, it’s unclear whether or not reduced ozone day fares will increase or stay the same as last year (50 cents). Hopefully we’ll know an answer by June…

UPDATE: The ozone fare will be 50 cents again for individual rides for all providers. However, discounts for passes will not be honored this year.

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Complete Streets bill hearing this week

If you haven’t heard of the Complete Streets concept, it’s basically a movement to make streets safe and accessible for all users, not just cars. Since streets once served more than just auto traffic, the concept is not at all new. In fact, most places that people think of as good places to be have most of the Complete Street elements.

Now that you’ve been primed, the movement is hitting home as a Complete Streets bill will be heard this week in the Missouri Legislature (it’s the second time, see here for a recap).

Why are we covering this? It’s quite simple: Complete Streets make good Transit Streets, whether for buses or light rail, and most of Kansas City’s streets and beloved boulevards are downright hostile to anything but fast-moving traffic.

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Another take on light rail progress

From the Sunday edition. Here’s the crux: “… the plan won’t be light rail, and it probably won’t be this year.”

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