Archive for the 'General' Category
Here are some local and national transit headlines from the two weeks we were away:
- Transit on Troost is in line for upgrades (Star)
- Ups and downs in citizen satisfaction scores (Prime Buzz)
- Cleaver Boulevard to get streetscape/pedestrian improvements, possibly bike lanes (Let’s Go KC)
- Jump on The Truman Trolley in Independence (Transit Action Network)
- Bus along with tires caught fire before hijacking halted in KCK (Star)
- Union Station officials report a $1.1 million surplus (Star)
- Man murdered at bus stop identified (KMBC)
- KC commuters have a low tolerance for taking the long way home (Star)
- Monday’s rare double-stadium events present driving, parking hassles (Star)
- Metro rides may soon be just a card swipe away (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Ridership soars on MU student bus line (Columbia Daily Tribune)
- Student fee pays for bike loan program at Springfield’s Drury University (KPLR)
- Poplar Bluff bus goes green (KFVS)
- State offers funding for sidewalks, bike trails (Neosho Daily News)
- Kansas Amtrak expansion narrowed to two routes (Kansas Reporter)
- Amtrak’s western Kansas route in doubt (Hays Daily News)
- Topeka developing bike plans (WIBW)
- State encouraged to utilize different modes of transportation (McPherson Sentinel)
- Obama pitches new plan for roads, runways and rail lines (USA Today)
- Obama’s Infrastructure Stimulus: What we know now and what we still need to know (Infrastructurist)
- The first 21 infrastructure projects Obama should fund (Business Insider)
- Roadway fatalities hit 60-year low last year (Star)
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.2 comments
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!1 comment
- Kansas City’s Hail Mary pass (Prime Buzz)
- ATA plans to cut some service from Wyandotte to Johnson counties (Kansas City Star)
- Audio ads will soon debut on buses (Kansas City Star)
- Upgrades coming for North Oak Trafficway (Kansas City Star)
- Sen. Bond secures $2 million for KCATA bus replacement (scroll to bottom of article) (RealEstateRama)
- UG holding special meeting Monday (Kansas City Kansan)
- Transportation Outlook 2040 Call for Projects (MARC)
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.5 comments
The City Council’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is now blogging. Commenting is not enabled.
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.
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.
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.