Transit Stops, I guess, if you want to be politically correct. Flashy, new covered bus stops for The Jo, including a spiffy new terminal at 5251 Johnson Drive in traffic ticket-hungry Mission.
It doesn’t get any better…or does it?
With high transportation costs and serious consideration of pouring millions into a new KCI terminal, greater Kansas City—and especially Johnson County—still suffer from transportation blues.
Not so in surrounding Denver, St. Louis, Dallas, Minneapolis or other comparable markets that have long since successfully dealt with transportation improvements.
These new covered shelters, complete with bus route info and electronic schedules, look great alright, but I’ve yet to spot a SINGLE person waiting in one of them. And I pass these transit stops–especially on Metcalf and in downtown Overland Park—all the time.
I did see ONE person laying down on a bus bench inside one of the new shelters at 75th and Metcalf the other day. He seemed to have several stuffed trash bags with him and appeared to be homeless.
In Johnson County? No way, you say.
Getting where and when you want to go by bus from the golden getto—or within—still takes time and patience. The king size JoCo busses I see in my neck of the woods are usually nearly empty carrying maybe one to three passengers.
Wouldn’t smaller vehicles suffice? Maybe even save money?
I know they’re in the fleet and could be implemented more efficiently during slow times of the day.
Which brings me to my major beef with Johnson County transit.
When I first moved to Johnson County, we had just ONE metro bus system serving the entire area: Kansas City, Wyandotte County and Johnson County. Getting around the metro was much easier back then. But that all changed in the early 80’s when Johnson County disassociated itself from KC’s bus system.
Was it a squabble over routes and money? I’ve always heard it was money.
Whatever the real reason, imagine if the cost of the new transit stops could have instead been applied to a TRUE area transportation system. Light rail then REALLY would’ve made sense.
But I’m a dreamer. I’ll probably never live to see top notch public transportation throughout this metroplex.
I also never thought I’d see the fall of the Berlin Wall.