Sam Zeff / KCUR

It’s the kind of story that’s a little hard to believe until you visit the neighborhood.

Just after 8:00 a.m., a school bus stops on North Freemont Avenue and kids pile on.

They have their backpacks, lunches and homework. It all seems normal.

Except they only live a few blocks from the school and aren't allowed to walk.

It would take Jessica Andrews’ four kids about five minutes to walk to Maplewood Elementary School in the Northland. “We’re really, really close. Why aren't they walking, it’s so close? There’s no sidewalks. It’s not safe for them to walk."

Courtesy photo / KCATA

Four months into his new job as president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Joe Reardon has several things to brag about, and a few still on the to-do list.

The former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, appreciates being able to focus on a single mission for a change.

“It's an exciting time, and the first four months have been great. We're singularly focused on connecting people ...  I'm loving every minute of it,” Reardon told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

His charge is to connect multiple jurisdictions across the metro that have their own public transit system into a single, metro-wide system, under the brand, “Ride KC.”

“When we're out on a day-to-day basis, we don't pay attention to the jurisdictions. And this economy doesn't either, so were trying to develop a system that allows us to really answer to that call,” he said.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

A half-cent sales tax will help the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority expand its regional transit hub.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Monday locking in about $35 million in annual funding for KCATA. The sales tax funds about a third of KCATA’s budget, but until now it’s always been subject to ongoing legislative approval.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The newly elected Kansas City Council features a lot of new blood— six out of the 12 members have never served on the council before. 

In the spirit of getting to know our newly elected council men and women, we asked them — what is the greatest challenge facing Kansas City as you start your term?

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It doesn’t take long to drive a car across the Missouri River.

Depending on traffic, the roughly half-mile trek can take just one minute. But if you don’t have a car, the Missouri River can seem like a much larger obstacle.

According to the U.S. Census, about 84 percent of the Kansas City metro population drives alone to work. That leaves the other 16 percent commuting by other means, like carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or just working from home.

Stephen Miller wants Missourians to see Interstate 70 as more than just a way to travel from St. Louis to Kansas City – or as a means to get to the glorious statue of Jim the Wonder Dog in Marshall.

The chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission wants to spark a public conversation about restructuring the widely traveled highway. That includes figuring out a revenue source to pay for what he says are much-needed repairs.

Timo Newton-Syms / Flickr-CC

Older drivers often face a difficult decision on whether to continue driving or not as they move into their twilight years, but an expo Wednesday seeks to help them stay safe and find alternatives.

The Get Up And Go Older Adult Driving Expo is meant to give aging adults information about a wide range of transportation options.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon stopped by the recently closed Missouri River bridge on Highway 291 in Sugar Creek, Missouri Thursday to call on state lawmakers to pass a fuel tax hike for transportation funding.

The northbound bridge was closed Wedensday when a Missouri Department of Transportation inspection found a rusted hole through a support strut. 

Nixon said the bridge is indicative of a larger problem with state transportation funding.

Kansas City and Uber have come to terms on regulations for the ride-hiring network and its drivers. 

The compromise ordinance was unveiled at the council business session Thursday and passed shortly after 5 p.m. It replaces one passed two weeks ago that prompted Uber to say it was being forced out of Kansas City.

The city agreed to drop the permit fee for individual drivers for companies willing to pay a $45,000 annual blanket fee. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In 2014, Kansas City, Mo., officials began the process of rewriting its taxi code, citing public safety concerns about ride-hiring companies such as Uber and Lyft, and a conflict concerning fairness in the cab industry. The response to a draft of the proposed changes has been mixed.

City permits

A proposal presented to the Kansas City, Mo. City Council Thursday would make it easier for ride-hiring services like Uber and Lyft.

It would require drivers that work for the companies to get city permits. Also, it lowers the cost of the permits from $300 to $250.

Kansas lawmakers may dip into highway funding to help balance the state’s budget.

The state Senate’s top budget officials say transportation money could help fill the gap. Andover, Kan., Republican Senator Ty Masterson chairs the Ways and Means Committee. He says transportation is a big expense to the state and Kansas has already built a healthy system.

"Pulling back to a point of preservation, and not this aggressive expansion, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing," Masterson said. "And it wouldn’t be prolonged."

John Russell / Flickr-CC

Last week, Missouri voters solidly rejected Amendment 7, which would have increased the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent for 10 years to fund roads and bridges.

On Monday's Up to Date, we take a look at why voters reacted the way they did and what lawmakers might do to pay for those transportation items now.


  • Rep. Dave Schatz, Chair of the Missouri House Transportation Committee
CarmaHop / Facebook

Next time you drive, look to your right, then in the back. Are your passenger seats empty? You may be alone in your car, but you're not the only one in this situation.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with TEDxKC presenter Jenny O'Brien about why she's advocating hitchhiking as a way to fill those seats and make our transportation more efficient.


  • Jenny O'Brien, community manager for CarmaHop

A measure on the Aug. 5 ballot for Kansas City residents living south of the Missouri River will help decide if the downtown streetcar will expand beyond its current line.

Kansas City Question A seeks to create a larger transportation development district that would allow Kansas Citians the chance to vote for streetcar and bus expansion taxes in the November election. 

The proposed district is bounded north by the river, west by State Line Road, east by I-435, and south by the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

Ballot language:


Voters will be asked on the Aug. 5 Missouri ballot if they want to increase the statewide sales tax by ¾ of a cent for 10 years. The money will be used to improve statewide transit infrastructure including roads and highways, bridges and public transit projects. The money raised will not be allowed to be used on any other kinds of projects.

Ballot language:

wikipedia commons

When New Jersey prosecutors charged the truck driver who crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan's limo, they said the man behind the wheel had not slept in more than 24 hours.  Not long after that accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to rescind some of the rest requirements for big rig drivers.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Mamie Hughes, 85, stands in the middle of a bridge that’s named after her, and she marvels at the power of the road below. The power of Highway 71.

“Sometimes I just like to stand here and look and watch the traffic,” she says as cars and semis zoom underneath. “Seeing how much goes, and it’s just kind of fun.”

The Mamie Hughes Bridge crosses Highway 71, or Bruce R. Watkins Drive as it’s also known, at Meyer Boulevard.


U.S. Highway 71 has become one of the most prominent north-south arteries of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

But when it was built on the east side of Kansas City, Mo., in the 1990s, the construction sparked controversy because of the way it bisected existing neighborhoods.  

Earlier this year, when we asked you what were Kansas City’s biggest dividing lines, Highway 71 emerged as one of them.

Kyle Gradinger / Flickr--CC

Any day now, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Marco Roldan is expected to hand down a decision that would allow an election to create a special transit taxing district.

Via Tsuji / Flickr / Creative Commons

Transportation company Lyft says it will find you a friend with a car via mobile device app. But, the Kansas City, Mo., City Council says the company is running a taxi cab service and trying to loophole its way out of city regulations covering drivers, vehicles and insurance.

The Latest On The Lyft Situation In Kansas City

May 7, 2014
Via Tsuji / Flickr / Creative Commons

There's a new kid in town, and Kansas City government officials are concerned about its unconventional arrival.

Lyft, a San Francisco-based transportation network company that connects people through a mobile app, started business in the area on April 24. Users request a ride and they are matched with a driver from the Lyft community.

A new era in public transportation is underway in Kansas City with the construction of the downtown streetcar system, but will the future needs of aging baby boomers and mobile millennials be met? 

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is thinking about temporarily moving some routes off Main Street in Kansas City, Mo., while streets are congested with construction.

While lower Main street is torn up as workers lay streetcar lines, it comes as no surprise to anyone moving around there that traffic is a mess. So Mark Huffer, General Manager of the ATA, says officials are thinking it may alleviate some of the congestion to move peak-time routes off Main to Grand for awhile.

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?

Legislation that would let voters decide if they want to create a temporary one-cent transportation sales tax has received first-round approval in the Missouri House.

The proposed constitutional amendment would be in effect for 10 years and would need to be reauthorized by voters to stay in effect beyond that. It’s sponsored by Republican Rep. Dave Hinson of Franklin County

“The people all across the state realize we have a transportation infrastructure need, no matter if you think it’s for roads, bridges, or any other type of multimodal transportation,” said Hinson.


 An effort to increase speed limits in Missouri has us curious about your history with speed in the Show-Me state.

Missouri could become more lead-foot friendly if a proposal to increase the maximum speed limit on rural interstates, from 70 to 75 mph, makes it through the Missouri Legislature this year.

A new railroad bridge over the Osage River between St. Louis and Jefferson City is now open for both passenger and freight train use.

The new bridge cost $28 million, with most of the funds coming from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo says the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

“We now have double-track running the entire stretch from Jefferson City to St. Louis, and delays caused by rail traffic funneling into a single track over the old bridge are now a thing of the past,” said Szabo.

Is Kansas City Bike Friendly?

Sep 19, 2013

For most of us getting around Kansas City is a matter of finding the road with the least traffic and no construction. But for some of us, the problems are more elemental than that: Is there a bike lane or will I have to dodge traffic? Can I walk to get my groceries or go to the doctor? What do I do if I don’t have a car? 

Ethan Prater / Flickr - CC

We all know that the baby boomer generation is getting older. As the baby boomers enter into their  sixties and seventies, our population will experience a significant age shift. In fact, the number of residents over age 65 will double over the next 20 years, and community members over the age of 80 will be increasing at an even faster rate. But what happens when Grandma and Grandpa can no longer drive, or even live on their own?