Jan. 30 the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized a 30-day public comment period on potential adjustments to fixed route bus service in Johnson County. The public comment opportunities will take place from mid-February through mid-March and are anticipated to include surveys of riders, an online survey, pop-up meetings and other public meetings.
After the public comment period ends, the BOCC will receive a report on the findings. At that point, the board can decide on the current recommended changes to the fixed-route system or choose to continue the discussion.
In 2018, Johnson County and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority conducted a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA) to identify improvements to fixed route performance and efficiency. In 2019 the county launched a MicroTransit pilot. This analysis included the elimination or reduction of low performing services, as well as the expansion and reallocation of services that experience substantial ridership growth. Based on the results of the COA and on input from the Johnson County Transportation Council and the Board of County Commissioners, KCATA and Johnson County staff have developed plans for a series of changes to the fixed-route system that further these goals.
• 595 Gardner-OP Express: Service to Edgerton and Logistics Park Kansas City is being discontinued due to low ridership (fewer than 10 riders a day). The number of trips is being reduced to levels that existed prior to the Edgerton expansion that occurred in April 2018. Five trips will be provided from Gardner to downtown in the morning and five return trips in the evening. Two trips in the morning and afternoon will continue to provide “reverse commute” service to Oak Park Mall and the Gardner/New Century areas.
• 401 Metcalf-Plaza: The southern segment of the route will be modified. Service to Prairiefire (137th & Outlook) will be discontinued due to low ridership (approximately seven riders per day) and cost of service. Instead, the southern terminus of the route will alternate between Johnson County Community College and Rosana Square. This allows for the addition of midday and evening service to JCCC. In addition, trips will be added to extend the “peak” periods of the route where service operates at 30-minute frequency.
• 402 Johnson-Quivira: This route, which averages fewer than 70 riders a day, is being eliminated, with some segments of the route being combined with the 403 Antioch-Olathe. Existing 402 riders will have several options depending on location:
• 403 Antioch-Olathe: Renner and College in Olathe, portions of Nieman and Johnson Drive in Shawnee
• 118 18th Street: Roe Boulevard in Roeland Park, and 18th Street in Kansas City, KS.
• 475 Quivira-75th Street: Quivira Road south of 75th Street, Oak Park Mall and Johnson County Community College
• Micro Transit
• 403 Antioch-Olathe: The number of trips operating on this route is being reduced and the alignment is being modified to serve portions of the existing 402 Johnson-Quivira. In addition, the portion of the route in downtown Kansas City is being modified to serve the new East Village Transit Center at 12th and Charlotte. Direct service to Crown Center and Union Station will be discontinued, with multiple other routes providing transfers to these locations.
• 475 Quivira-75th Street: The route will be extended to 75th and Prospect to serve the new Alphapointe Transit Center and connect to Prospect MAX, and trips will be added to the route to achieve a consistent schedule, with 30-minute frequency in peak hours and hourly frequency in the midday and evening hours. Service to KU-Edwards will be discontinued due to low ridership (fewer than 15 a day).
• 495 95th Street.: This route is being eliminated due to low ridership and redundancy with other services. The 475 Quivira-75th Street and 75 75th Street routes provide service along portions of the corridor. In addition, the highest ridership segments of the 495 route are also within the micro transit service area.
Johnson County provides other transportation options for residents. Catch-a-Ride is a volunteer transportation service that provides rides for older adults, people with disabilities and other adults who have no other means of transportation and served nearly 300 people in 2019. Also in 2019, the Mental Health transportation program provided 34,019 total rides. 16,050 of those rides were for people served by Johnson County Developmental Support.