Summary of Smart Moves/RideKC - Independence Avenue Bus Rapid Transit

KCATA

Contact Information

Organization: KCATA
Contact person: Shawn Strate
Title: Planning Manager
Phone: 816-346-0349
E-mail: sstrate@kcata.org
Organization address: 1200 E. 18th Street
  Kansas City, MO    64108


General Information

1. Project name: Smart Moves/RideKC - Independence Avenue Bus Rapid Transit
2. City(ies), County(ies), State: Jackson County, Mo. City of Kansas City, Mo. City of Independence, Mo.
3. Routes, interchanges and/or intersections: Improvements along existing 24 Independence route, with adjustments recommended by the Independence Avenue BRT Feasibility Study. Primary improvements are along Independence Avenue within Kansas City, Missouri.
4. Primary project mode: Transit 
5. Supplementary project mode(s): * Active Transportation )
This project will provide for bus rapid transit improvements along an existing high-ridership transit corridor. This will enable new riders to be able to access and utilize the transit system, and provide faster and more reliable service to existing users. Mobility hubs will be integrated into the project to provide convenient connections to flex routes, ride-hailing services, paratransit, and bike share. In addition, just by choosing transit as a component of any given trip, a person most often must also take advantage of other modes.
6. Project Purpose: * System expansion (added capacity) * System preservation, rehabilitation or replacement * System operations and management )
7. Project sponsor: Shawn Strate
sstrate@kcata.org
816.346.0349
8. Total budget in 2019 dollars: $60800000
9. Project description: Independence Avenue BRT is a near-term recommendation of the Smart Moves 3.0 transit plan, which envisions a mobility landscape that includes efficient, high-ridership transit service linked by well-located mobility hubs where riders can transfer from one fixed route to another or connect with mobility services to get where they need to go. The project will enhance an existing high-ridership transit corridor, with new transit stations with high-quality amenities including shelters, smart kiosks, and level boarding. These facilities will vastly improve the ability for residents and employees to access the system in a safe and comfortable manner. These improvements will also improve travel time and service reliability on the corridor, as well as provide enhanced connections between routes and other transportation modes at mobility hubs. The feasibility plan also calls for protected bike lanes to be integrated along the Independence Avenue portion of the corridor, implementing a major bicycle infrastructure corridor as recommended by the BikeKC Plan. Existing transit users will be the primary users of these improvements, but will also allow non-transit users to begin utilizing the system. In addition, the planned protected bike lanes will be utilized by existing cyclists and allow more people to bicycle in the corridor. The intent of this project is to make using transit and mobility services an attractive and viable option for more Kansas City area residents and workers. Expanding the region’s transit system (in terms of route options, frequency of service, and days of service) will not only benefit those who choose to or depend on transit (i.e. transit riders) but others as well. For instance, expanding the transit system and increasing ridership will take more cars off the road, thereby decreasing traffic for those that choose to/must drive. This decreased traffic will also benefit bicyclists and pedestrians in terms of making their travel safer and more pleasant as well as improving air quality. Decreased traffic/congestion will also benefit the movement of freight as well.
10. Scope: The Independence Avenue BRT route is planned to be approximately 12 miles long, extending from Crown Center and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri to Downtown Independence, Missouri. Approximately six miles of the route—all within Kansas City—will feature bus rapid transit characteristics and service profile. The additional six miles extending to Independence will have fewer trips and fewer amenities, due to cost constraints and lower ridership demand. Approximately 40 bus stops will be improved into BRT stations with high-quality amenities with shelters, smart kiosks, and level boarding. These facilities will vastly improve the ability for residents and employees to access the system in a safe and comfortable manner. These improvements will also improve travel time and service reliability on the corridor, as well as provide enhanced connections between routes and other transportation modes at mobility hubs. Additionally, bus service will be improved to 10-minute frequency throughout the day on weekdays, and to 30 minutes on weekends on the BRT portion of the corridor. This improves overall travel time for users by reducing wait times at the bus stop, and more timely transfers to other services. The feasibility plan also calls for protected bike lanes to be integrated along the Independence Avenue portion of the corridor, implementing a major bicycle infrastructure corridor as recommended by the BikeKC Plan. This is a major safety improvement to active transportation users of the corridor. The expected outcome is for a major improvement in transit service and creating a more inviting and useful experience for existing and new users of multi-modal transportation. New mobility hubs will provide a location for the community to gather and to access and transfer between transportation and community services. This corridor is a key component in implementing the SmartMoves 3.0 regional transit vision of Fast & Frequent, Supporting, and Express services that connect people to opportunities throughout the region. These corridor improvements were programmed for Phase I of SmartMoves and will also be in Phase I of the RTP 2050 Plan.
11. Project schedule: The Independence Avenue BRT Feasibility Study was completed in early 2019. The advanced planning phase is anticipated to be underway in mid-2019 and include initiation into the FTA Project Development process in hopes of future funding. Additional planning and conceptual engineering is anticipated to continue through 2020. Final design and engineering would occur in 2021-2022 with construction in 2022-2023 to begin operations in 2023. This schedule represents the best-case scenario for being able to fund each stage of project development as well as obtaining funding for construction and continued operations. It is possible that the project could be delayed a year or more depending on this process. Phase I: 2020-2029: Based on the current proposed timeline, Independence Avenue BRT is expected to proceed to construction in 2022-2023 and open in 2023, although this schedule is highly dependent on securing federal and local funding.

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