Lori Sand
Johnson County public information officer
The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners viewed a presentation of the results of a transit public comment period from earlier in the year. The presentation was made yesterday during the board’s study session. The board will factor in this data when making decisions on recommendations for fixed route and microtransit service adjustments.
Staff first presented recommendations to the BOCC during a study session late last year. Following revisions from that session, transit staff presented adjusted recommendations to the BOCC for action on Jan. 30, 2020. It was at that time the BOCC authorized a public comment period for the recommendations but did not authorize the system adjustments.
A public comment period took place from Feb. 20 to – Mar. 31. A total of 411 individuals responded to the survey which included nine questions with comments.  About 60 percent of participants were transit users while 40 percent were not.
In addition, the public had the option of attending six “open house” meetings the week of Mar. 2 – 6. Survey opportunities were also available at those sessions. There was an average of eight attendees per meeting, with a total attendance of 49.
The complete report is available online and the comments are attached. The majority of answers to the questions follows:
Do you use public transportation in Johnson County? Yes – 57.99 percent
If your answer was “yes” above, how often do you use public transportation? Daily 56.96 percent
Do the recommendations effect your route? Yes 64.92 percent
If you answered “yes” above, which route(s) do you use? Following are the top three.
401 Metcalf – Plaza        35.16 percent; 402 Johnson-Quivira      24.66 percent; 403 Antioch-Olathe        30.14 percent
What is your primary destination when using public transportation? Work 73.98 percent
Do any of the following reasons prevent you from using public transit as your mode of travel? The top three answers follow.
Buses do not come frequently enough  45.14 percent; Service doesn’t go where I need it to go  42.63 percent; Service isn’t offered at the time I need it 41.38 percent
Overall, how important do you think it is for Johnson County to support and fund public transportation? Very important 89.95 percent
Staff have recommended:
• Reductions to fixed routes which yield an estimated savings of $1.03 million.
• Reinvestments to fixed routes for a total of $327,000.
• Two additional service areas for microtransit plus three additional vehicles for a cost of $500,000.