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Johnson County Expands Paratransit Countywide

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Courtesy Photo
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KCATA

Johnson County commissioners voted Thursday to expand paratransit bus service to all disabled and elderly Johnson County residents.

Previously, the service was limited to residents living within the boundaries of 47th and 159th Streets and K-7 Highway and State Line Road.

Johnson County spokesman Joshua Powers says Johnson County's rapid growth requires better service for everyone, but those dependent on public transit in particular.

"We’ve grown tremendously to the south and southwest," Powers says. "The removal of these boundaries means any resident in Johson County can now utilize paratransit, which is huge for folks who are older or are living with a disability."

The more limited boundaries of the paratransit service had been in place for 40 years, Powers says.

The overall population in Johnson County grew 8.6 percent between April 2010 and July 2017, according to the U.S. Census.

Residents eligible for paratransit include those 65 or older, those with a verifiable disability and low-income residents who qualify for a reduced fare.

Paratransit rides can be scheduled up to 7 days in advance and no later than two days before the trip. 

The paratransit service provided almost 39,000 rides in the first half of 2018, according to the KCATA.  

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. You can reach her via email at lauraz@kcur.org or via twitter @laurazig.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions. Email me at lauraz@kcur.org and follow me on Twitter @laurazig.
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