- RideKC Transit Plan
Our team worked with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) to redevelop the Smart Moves Regional Transit Plan and develop a 10-year job accessibility implementation plan called RideKC Workforce Connex, which was funded by a TIGER 1 Grant.
The goal of the project was to identify strategies and recommendations for doubling the number of jobs accessible by transit in the Kansas City region. Through the planning process, the project team utilized data to determine where people live and work in the region, which helped them identify five pilot locations to examine. By drilling down to the employment centers, these five pilots helped reveal that the largest increases in job access would occur by expanding the regional transit grid and better connecting to the local systems. Utilizing these lessons from the pilots, the project team developed systemwide recommendations for how to expand job access across the Kansas City region.
This plan distinguishes itself from previous efforts by being more data-driven. For example, the project team analyzed travel patterns, transit use propensity and typology of places to better match mobility services to markets, which generate a positive impact on the region’s economy. This plan also recommends the implementation of mobility hubs in the region for the first time. Mobility hubs provide an array of transportation services, amenities and urban design enhancements to allow for seamless mobility between different transportation modes. These hubs help connect people to the palces they live, work and play.
Through the data analysis, one of the key findings was that the hours transit services were available in the region did not match up well with the shift hours of many in-demand jobs. As a result, the plan recommends extending evening service to fill this gap. It also calls for more fast and frequent transit service rather than longer routes that run less frequently, which had not served some users well. Fast service includes off-board fare payment, moderate spacing of stops, dedicated right-of-way where possible, signal priority and policies that protect the integrity of the transit schedule during street closures for events and maintenance. It is important to note that these fixed route recommendations are just one component of this plan – land use and urban design strategies were also developed as they play a key role improving mobility throughout the region. Recognizing funding constraints, this plan provides a phased-approach for how these recommendations could be implemented. Each phase includes a cost breakdown and the estimated increase in job access associated with those recommendations.
Public engagement played a key role in this effort. In addition to working with MARC and KCATA, the project team incorporated feedback from public transit meetings. The project team also identified key leadership stakeholders in the region and held one-on-one meetings with these individuals to vet the recommendations and gather input for how to better engage the business community. By generating support for the plan recommendations among the business community, which needs transit to better serve their employees, the plan’s recommendations have a greater chance of being successfully implemented.
- Transit planning and implementation
- Strategic communication
- Graphic design
- Multimodal coordination
- Transit modeling, research and data analysis