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KCATA Extending Regional Route, Dropping Some Fares And Pruning Stops For New Year

Paul Sableman
Kansas City's bus system is getting a couple of tune-ups for the New Year, including lower fares for Johnson County routes, pruned stops and a new regional route extension.

Just like the millions of people who will make resolutions this week, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is making changes in the new year. 

The transit service will extend its 107 linein Kansas City, Kansas, to connect the transit center on Johnson Drive in Mission to KU Med Center. Riders can also go from there to downtown Kansas City, Missouri, if they choose.

Cindy Baker with the KCATA says officials consider the expansion to be the metro's first truly regional route, and hope KU Med employees take advantage of it.

"There's roughly 10,000 people already working in the area," Baker said. "They only have about 5,000 parking spots [at KU Med], so we hope people will look to transit as a possible solution."

To entice Kansas riders further, the KCATA has decided to slash fares for 10 routes in Johnson County, down to $1.50 per ride — just like MAX and other local routes in the metro. Some express routes, like the 710-K10 connector will stay at $3.50 a ride.

In addition to the new expansion and fare structure, the KCATA will prune 238 stops throughout the metro. Baker says about 60 of them will be downtown, and most aren't even being used by riders.

"In most cases, there shouldn't be anybody having to walk further than an additional two blocks," Baker said. "We saved many stops if we heard any public outcry, even if that was just one or two people."

Baker says the KCATA will continue to evaluate routes over the next several months and try to cut down even more stops. The entire bus system has more than 5,000 total bus stops.

Cody Newill is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @CodyNewill or send him an email at cody@kcur.org. 

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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