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The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to return day-to-day management of Johnson County Transit from the Kansas City Transportation Authority back to Johnson County. Beginning August 1, 2022, the JCT division will fall within the Public Works Department.
“Johnson County views this action as a positive one for both organizations,” said Ed Eilert, chairman of the BOCC. “The county desires to remain a part of the RideKC system and brand, and fully expects to partner with the KCATA in a positive manner for all regional transit initiatives, grant requests and coordination efforts.”
JCT will remain part of the regional RideKC brand and will continue to partner with KCATA in transit planning and coordination. This will not impact customer experience with RideKC in Johnson County. Riders will continue to use the regional service as they do today.
Last November, the BOCC authorized $15.2 million in new transit pilot programs, funded with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) COVID relief grants, which represents the largest single investment in transit in Johnson County’s history.
“These pilot programs will inform the county how to best adapt for the future of public transportation in Johnson County,” said Penny Postoak Ferguson, county manager. “We believe that direct oversight of these pilots, our existing services and our third-party contracts will be of the utmost importance as these programs are implemented. Over the last few years, we have benefited from the enhanced regional collaboration for transit services, and with these changes the valuable regional collaboration will continue.”

Background information
Johnson County has provided public transit services for four decades, beginning with Commuteride in 1982. Transit services began operating as The JO in 1986 as a county government department. The JO took over transit services from KCATA which served Johnson County until 1981.
In 2014, KCATA assumed management duties of Johnson County Transit through the interlocal agreement with Johnson County, which Johnson County is withdrawing from. Over the following seven years, the partnership between the two organizations produced a seamless, regionally coordinated transit system and fostered new transit innovations, including on-demand paratransit and micro transit.
The KCATA rebranded the public transportation systems in Kansas City metropolitan areas as RideKC in November 2014. JCT also adopted the new transit brand name.