public transit

5:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Clay Chastain Asks Judge To Put His Light-Rail Plan On The Ballot

Transit activist Clay Chastain talks to reporters at the Jackson County Courthouse. A judge is considering the fate of Chastain's petition to put a light-rail plan before vote.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Transit advocate Clay Chastain got his day in court Thursday, but it's still unclear if his plan to build a light-rail system will go before voters.

For three years, Chastain has been locked in a battle with city officials who say the 3/8-cent sales tax increase he's proposed isn't enough to pay for light-rail. The Missouri Supreme Court weighed in earlier this year, ruling that even if voters approved the plan, the city wouldn't have to build it.

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7:36 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Judge To Review Challenged Light-Rail Ballot Initiative This Week

Clay Chastain, a former Kansas City resident, has taken the city to court after his 2011 plan for light rail never made it on the ballot.
Credit Video frame courtesy of TV-9

Kansas City transit advocate Clay Chastain is in town this week to promote his light-rail proposal ahead of hearing that could put the issue before voters.

Chastain, a former Kansas City resident who now lives in Virginia, has for years pressured the city to build an interconnected transit system with a hub at Union Station. His idea has a lot of moving parts – light rail line to the airport, commuter rail to the southeast and streetcars to the Kansas City Zoo. And in 2011, he gathered enough signatures to put a 3/8-cent sales tax on the ballot to help pay for it.

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3:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

How Long Does It Take To Get To Kansas City's Major Employers On Public Transit?

Kara McGowan, of Kansas City, Mo., takes two buses to her children's day care facility every day before hopping on two more buses to work.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Earlier this month, we ran a story about the accessibility to jobs in the Kansas City metro by public transportation. It takes Kara McGowan, of Kansas City, Mo., more than 90 minutes to get to her job in Westport once she drops off her children at day care.

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4:13 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Why Thursday's Streetcar Groundbreaking Is The Real Thing

Construction begins this summer on the streetcar starter line in downtown Kansas City, Mo., shown here in this mock-up.
Credit Submitted photo / City of Kansas City, Mo.

There will be no gold-plated shovels at Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony for the  streetcar in downtown Kansas City, Mo. – that's a promise.

"We wanted to do something different because the streetcar is a game-changer for Kansas City," says city spokesman Chris Hernandez.

Thursday is set to mark the start of major construction on the downtown starter line, the first phase in the city's multi-year streetcar initiative.

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8:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Kansas City Public Transit Among Nation's Worst In Connecting Workers To Jobs

Kara McGowan takes two buses to Operation Breakthrough where her kids go to day care, then two more to her job.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Just after 7:15 a.m. in the morning, Kara McGowan rushes out of her house, carrying her baby, Airis, on one arm, a bulging diaper bag on the other. Her four-year-old, Addison, trails behind.

"We got eight minutes. Come on!" McGowan pleads.  She doesn't want to miss her bus. She doesn't have a car, so her only option to get her kids to daycare and to herself to her job as a receptionist in Westport is to take public transit.

McGowan's bus rolls away from the intersection before she and the children arrive, so she reroutes them to catch the 12th Street bus across town.

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4:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Kansas Citians Call For Off-Hours Transit Options To Reduce Drinking And Driving

What services do you think are needed to curb drunk driving in Kansas City? Join the conversation online by tweeting your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Oregon Department of Transportation / Flickr -- Creative Commons

If Kansas City wants to get serious about reducing drunk driving, it needs to invest in more late-night and weekend public transportation services.

That’s according to your responses to our on-air and online question of the week.

We asked: What services should be provided to curb drinking and driving in Kansas City?

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Central Standard
2:33 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Drinking And Driving: Culture, Infrastructure And The Law

Kansas City weighs in on getting home safely after nights out and about, possibly spent drinking.
Credit Arriva436 / Creative Commons

In recent years, we've heard a lot more about texting and driving than we have about drinking and driving. But drunk driving is still prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol-impaired car crashes account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. 

As spring revelry leads to late nights out, Central Standard asks whether Kansas Citians are making plans to get home safely, and if not, why not?

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Public Transit
10:12 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Residents Turn Out To Learn About Prospect Max Bus

Lena Rose - showing here ATA swag - says she is "elated" there might be a MAX bus along Prospect
Credit Laura Ziegler

A small group of residents crowded into the basement of Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Swope Parkway Tuesday night to learn about the proposed MAX bus line along Prospect.

The 2005 Main Street MAX and 2011 Troost MAX have been popular with riders, and residents east of Troost seem equally enthusiastic about having the upgraded express line in their neighborhoods.

MAX buses don't make as many stops and have upgraded terminals; the lighting and shelter is better; and there are talking notifications about when the next bus is arriving.

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6:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Streetcar Expansion Routes Narrowed, Studies Continue

The Kansas City, Mo., city council has approved a report that supports adding another eight to 10 miles of streetcar track to its 2.2 mile starter system over the next decade. 

Favored routes are eastward branches along Independence Avenue and the Linwood-31st Street corridor and a southern extension as far as Brookside or Waldo.

Members of the study group say federal grants should fund 50 percent of the cost.

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3:36 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Transit Alliance Chief Not Actively Opposed To Competing Tax

The Chairman of Kansas City’s Regional Transit Alliance fears  a proposed medical research tax will divert funds and attention from improved rail transportation.   The stand does not extend to  active opposition  to the tax.

Kite Singleton of the Transit Alliance makes it clear he is not campaigning against the half cent medical research tax going on the Jackson County ballot in November.

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12:40 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Council Committee Studies Bus Funding, Role Of ATA Board

Credit KCATA

A city council committee continues to delve into how to finance the Area Transit Authority yesterday.

Most of this week's ATA funding committee meeting was spent speculating on the size of the funding shortfall as a streetcar system and other expenses bite into transit tax revenues that may or may not increase.

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12:33 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Sanders Pushes To Put Transit Plan On August Ballot

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders
Credit Jackson County government

A lot more people in the Kansas City area could be voting on a mass transit plan as soon as this August. 

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

The Return Of Commuter Rail To Jackson County?

Jackson County government

There's a new twist in the Kansas City transit debate, and that's not the only thing going on in Jackson County.

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11:53 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Chastain Presents 'Ultimatum'

Activist Clay Chastain, shown two years ago when he announced he would again be collecting signatures for a transit ballot initiative.
Video frame courtesy of TV-9

Clay Chastain is threatening another Kansas City petition drive: this time one for a recall election.

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4:11 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Johnson County Commissioners Say "Yes" To More Public Transit

Courtesy of

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners approved a transit budget last week that restores bus routes and adds stops to make up for cuts in the overall bus system.

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7:33 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Sanders Presents Regional Transit Plan

A map of proposed routes for Jackson County transit plan.
Smart Moves
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Up to Date
4:12 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Streetcars In KC: On Track?

An Ameritram streetcar visited Kansas City's Union Station last year. A similar vehicle would be used on Kansas City's proposed streetcar system

Once declared "touristy frou-frou" by then-Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver, streetcars may be coming to Kansas City...more than 55 years after the last streetcar ran on the Country Club Line.

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Business & Tech
4:48 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Gas Prices, Weather Help Fill KCATA Seats

The price of gasoline is a major factor in future popularity of riding a bus in the Kansas City area.   It may take months to measure the effect.

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