Albert Rukwaro
Contributing writer
Johnson County government is partnering with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) to launch a first in the nation Uber-like public transportation plan. The plan is aimed at increasing the use of public transit in the county.
Under the plan, whose pilot phase was launched Feb. 1, KCATA will provide up to three 12 passenger vans which can be summoned by commuters using a phone App.
The county has set aside $250,000 for the pilot program.
Jody Hanson, county director of information, said that the plan will initially cover the densely populated areas of Overland Park, Lenexa, Shawnee and Mission.
“The on-demand service will connect up to 12 passengers at one time who start out at nearby locations and need a ride to destinations in close proximity,” she said.
County officials contend that the plan is unique in the country for a suburban area, and it was in response to a challenge by the board of county commissioners for staff to find creative ways to solve public transportation challenges in the county.
The new service will operate from 63rd Street in Mission to 119th Street in Overland Park and from Metcalf Avenue to Renner Boulevard. It is designed to include the Mission Transit Center on Johnson Drive and the KU Edwards campus and the Johnson County Community College.
People can schedule rides on a mobile app via a web interface or by phone. More information is available at www.ridekc.org/microtransit or by calling 816-512-5510.