U.S 71 transit study header graphic showing U.S. 71 and Prospect Ave.

U.S. 71 Transit Study

 

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Tier 2 evaluation of transit service options for U.S. 71/Bruce R. Watkins corridor

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The U.S. 71 Transit Study will evaluate transit services in Jackson County, Mo. It will build upon and coordinate with the Jackson County Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis, which is studying the I-70 and Rock Island corridors. The U.S. 71 alternatives analysis will integrate with the Kansas City, Mo., Downtown Streetcar project, providing essential transportation services and opportunities for transit-related economic development near major activity centers.

The study will be funded largely by a $652,200 competitive grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Study Area

The U.S. 71 corridor begins in the downtown loop of Kansas City, Mo., and runs south along U.S. 71/Bruce R. Watkins Dr. through Kansas City and Grandview to M-150 near the Cass County border. This heavily traveled corridor includes not only the U.S.71 highway facility, but also Prospect Avenue and adjacent railroad assets. Study map

History

Local transit service within the U.S. 71 area has strong ridership, particularly on the Prospect Avenue route which has a ridership of over 5,500 passenger trips per week (Source: Kansas City Area Transportation Authority). However, transit service on U.S. 71 is limited to peak service only, and the geographic extent of the service and has been scaled back over the years due to funding limitations. Service is currently limited to Kansas City, Mo. While transit service within the northern part of the study area is stronger than service in the rest of the region, there is a need for better services throughout the corridor, and service that may help spur the type of economic development this corridor needs to become more vibrant and sustainable.

The Smart Moves Regional Transit Vision (2008) identifies the U.S. 71 corridor as high priority commuter corridor. Given the priority of this corridors and the direct interest of Jackson County to pursue implementation, the Mid-America Regional Council initiated the Smart Moves Implementation Plan, the most recent effort leading up to this alternatives analysis.

Project Goals

The purpose of the study will be to identify the preferred transit alternative that best meets current and future transportation needs while also helping to shape, support and focus future economic development and revitalization of activity centers along the corridor. MARC, KCATA, the city of Kansas City, Mo., and Jackson County intend to build extensively off of past work as well as the Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis currently underway. The team will use the study results to help develop a more comprehensive regional commuter corridor system and secure funding for implementation and potentially apply for federal funds.

Timeline

The study kicked off in June 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Partners

The consultant team for the Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis is led by Parsons Brinckerhoff, and supported by Olsson Associates, KOA Corporation, TranSystems, Shockey Consulting Services, LLC, Taliaferro & Browne, Inc.

 

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