MARC Board approves updated population and employment forecasts

In June, the MARC Board of Directors approved the updated population and employment forecasts that were developed by the Technical Forecast Committee. The forecasts are an important part of the current update to Transportation Outlook 2040, our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

The long-range transportation plan helps guide the region’s federal transportation investments and is updated every five years. MARC, as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, works with local government planners to develop population and employment forecasts for the time-horizon of the long-range plan, as developed to relate to Traffic Analysis Zones for the regional travel demand forecasting model. This guides estimates for transportation system performance and future needs. The forecasts can be integrated into travel demand models and used to project the region’s mobility needs in 2040.

The forecast information will be incorporated into the plan update that is expected to be completed in early 2015.

For information about the updated forecasts, contact Frank Lenk at or 816/474-4240.


Forecast charts

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How does Kansas City transit compare to services in peer metro areas?

PeerTransitReport_cvrThe new 2014 Peer Transit Analysis report published by MARC’s transportation department compares the Kansas City region and its three largest transit agencies (in terms of service area and annual ridership) to 10 urbanized areas around the country and their primary transit agencies to provide a better frame of comparison between regional transit investment, ridership and modes of service.

The new report includes:

  • Detailed data about Kansas City regional mode sharing, local and per capita investments, ridership, fare income and revenue miles.
  • Transit options by region for comparison.
  • Transit operation funding sources and annual income generated by region.
  • Direct comparison of efficiency and effectiveness in the Performance Measures section.

The report details some key findings, such as:

  • Annual transportation operations in all metros rely on funds in excess of fare revenues. In the Kansas City region, the total capital funds expended annual is $23.79 million, with only $14 million generated from fare collection.
  • The mix of funding sources differs significantly by metro, with financing from local sales and use taxes, county or state allotments, and more.
  • Though there is a need for a variety of transportation options across the country, transit currently serves only 5 percent of the regional population or less in compared metros.

View the complete report online.

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Planning Sustainable Places grant funds available for transportation-related planning projects

PSP_headerFunding through the 2014 Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) program is now available. The program helps fund transportation-focused planning and projects for local activity centers and small areas, positioning projects to move from planning to implementation.

A total of $1 million of funding is available — $500,000 each from the Kansas and Missouri Surface Transportation Program funds for livable community development. The 2014 PSP application is online at The deadline for applications is August 27 at 4 p.m. CDT.

Cities, counties, state and transportation agencies in the MARC transportation planning boundary (Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri) are eligible to apply. Local nonprofit agencies and community organizations may submit applications in partnership with city or county governments.

The PSP program continues the work of MARC’s Creating Sustainable Places initiative and supports the region’s long-range transportation plan, Transportation Outlook 2040, which promotes concepts consistent with sustainable communities and advances a centers-and-corridors planning framework. Eligible projects must emphasize transportation and may include support for intermodal transportation options, redevelopment and sustainable land-use patterns, social equity and environmental stewardship. The maximum grant award is $120,000 and all projects require a 20 percent local match. Project work should begin in early 2015 and be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a pre-application workshop at 1 p.m. on July 24 in the MARC Conference Center Board Room, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105. Register online for the workshop.

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MARC endorses Missouri Transportation Project Priorities

by Ron Achelpohl, interim co-director of transportation at MARC

At a special Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC) meeting held on July 1, committee members endorsed a list of proposed projects that the Missouri Department of Transportation will submit to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) on July 9. MoDOT and MHTC are developing similar lists for regions across the state to specify how new funds would be used if voters approve a statewide transportation sales tax on August 5.

MARC had already begun an  extensive community engagement process as part of the update to Transportation Outlook 2040, the Kansas City region’s long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan, when MoDOT requested a list of projects for consideration as part of Amendment 7 on the August ballot. MARC collected information on transportation priorities from a public meeting in May and from its modal committees, and submitted its funding recommendations to MoDOT on June 10. MoDOT used MARC’s list as input for a draft list of projects it shared with the public, both online and in public forums. MoDOT then refined its list and came back to TTPC with its final version on July 1.

The majority of the priorities on the updated list — 26 of 28 projects and 97 percent of project funding — were derived from MARC’s initial list. Improvement and reconstruction of the Broadway Bridge and US-169 corridor in Clay and Jackson counties was the most significant highway investment on both lists.

While MARC’s initial list and MoDOT’s final list were similar, there were several key differences.

  • MoDOT included slightly more funding for highway projects and slightly less funding for transit, non-motorized, aviation and freight transportation.
  • The MoDOT list included two highway projects not part of MARC’s original list: improvements at I-35 and M-152 in Liberty and at US-50 and M-291 in Lee’s Summit.
  • MoDOT included $124 million for Kansas City Streetcar projects, while MARC’s original list allocated $32.2 million for the streetcar.
  • MoDOT reduced funding for regional connections to the Katy Trail from the $61 million MARC had proposed to $24 million.
  • MoDOT did not include several transit, non-motorized, aviation and non-highway freight projects that were on MARC’s original list.

After reviewing and discussing all of the projects on the revised MoDOT list, TTPC voted to endorse it for consideration by MHTC, with two changes to the descriptions and amounts for Kansas City Area Transportation Authority system preservation projects.

Endorsement of MoDOT’s project priorities by TTPC and MARC does not imply any position for or against Missouri’s transportation sales tax ballot question.

Please contact Ron Achelpohl at 816-474-4240 with any questions about these transportation project priorities.

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We want your input!

comment bubblesPeriodically, MARC seeks public comments on transportation planning efforts and major amendments to transportation plans. Our public input page provides details about how to submit your comments. All comments will be documented and reviewed by MARC’s Total Transportation Policy Committee.

We are currently seeking public feedback on two transportation-related items:

2014 3rdQuarter Amendment to the 2014–2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
(comments due by July 3)

The TIP is an important, short-term planning document that helps budget funds for significant transportation improvements in the region. It identifies significant projects that receive federal funds which will be implemented over the next three to five years. MARC amends the TIP on a quarterly basis to allow for the addition of new projects and changes to existing projects in the TIP.

The proposed 2014 3rd Quarter amendment to the 2014–2018 TIP includes 34 new projects and 18 modified projects. New projects include:

  • Bridge rehabilitation on I-70 over old K-32 and Kaw Road in Wyandotte County, Kansas.
  • Advance conceptual engineering for Kansas City Streetcar Phase 2, in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • I-435 bridge improvements at Front Street, US-24, and M-78 in Jackson County, Missouri.

Details of projects in the TIP amendment can be found online:

Please submit your comments by July 3.

  • By mail:  Mid-America Regional Council,  600 Broadway, Suite 200,  Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax:  816-421-7758
  • By email:

Additional information about the MARC transportation planning process can be found in A Guide to Transportation Decision-Making and MARC’s Public Participation Plan.

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Weigh in on the Missouri Freight Plan

The Missouri Department of Transportation will host an interactive webinar on Tuesday, May 13.

From its rivers to its rails, highways to airways, Missouri is a national freight hub. MoDOT realizes that the state’s central location and freight network are key economic assets and it is working with stakeholders to develop a plan to strengthen the freight network. This work will help attract new jobs and lay a strong foundation for Missouri’s future growth.

Dozens of stakeholders recently participated in MoDOT freight forums across the state that allowed them to share thoughts on how MoDOT can best prioritize investments in freight projects with very limited funds and any additional future available funds.

Please join MoDOT’s webinar:

  • Participate in an interactive webinar Tues., May 13 at 9 a.m.
    For the webinar, click this link and dial in to 1-866-429-9395,
    (Conference code: 816-823-6198).
  • Take a brief survey. This survey is available until 5 p.m. on May 13.

Later this summer, MoDOT will share a draft of the Freight Plan. Public input is critical to help design a strong plan to advance the future of Missouri’s Freight System.

For more information about the plan development, visit

MoDOT contact:
Cheryl Ball
Waterways and Freight Administrator
(573) 526-5578


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Add your input to the KC Regional Bikeway Plan

bikewaysThe Mid-America Regional Council is working with a team of local officials and other stakeholders to develop a Regional Bikeway Plan. The plan will help establish a vision for high-priority bikeway and trail investments across the metropolitan area.

The planning team will host a series of bi-county public meetings May 12–15 for residents to talk with planners and provide input in person.

  • Cass and Jackson counties:
    Monday, May 12, from 5–7 p.m.
    Belton Memorial Station
    602 Maurer Parkway, Belton, MO 64012
  • Johnson and Miami counties:
    Tuesday, May 13, from 5–7 p.m.
    Spring Hill Community Center
    613 South Race, Spring Hill, KS 66083
  • Clay and Platte counties:
    Wednesday, May 14, from 5–7 p.m.
    Gladstone Community Center*
    6901 North Holmes, Gladstone, MO 64118
  • Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties:
    Thursday, May 15, from 5–7 p.m.
    Bonner Springs Community Center (Sunflower Room)
    200 E. 3rd Street, Bonner Springs, KS 66012

Bicycle riders are also encouraged to visit the WikiMap at before May 23 to add their input. After providing some basic information about their bicycling habits, users can use mapping tools to highlight routes they currently bicycle or would like to bicycle, barriers to bicycling and destinations that they ride to. The map also allows users to leave specific comments about the routes and points they enter. The site provides an instructional video for those unfamiliar with mapping tools and layers.

For more information about the bikeway plan, visit our webpage or  contact:

Aaron Bartlett
Senior Transportation Planner

*Because of another area event that evening, the recommended route to the Gladstone Community Center is by North Oak, turning east on 69th Street. Follow 69th Street to Charlotte to the community center parking lot entrance. The center will have parking attendants, and attendees will just need to say that they are here for the MARC meeting. That evening 70th Street (going east) and the entrance at 70th and Holmes will be shut down.




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A call for input

What transportation projects should be funded?

Let us know by leaving your feedback online.

The Mid-America Regional Council serves as the metropolitan planning organization for the Kansas City region. We work with many partners on transportation improvements in the region. Because many of our programs are funded with your tax dollars and may affect your community, we invite you to share your opinions about proposed projects across the Kansas City region.

We recently asked local governments and other organizations to submit projects for funding from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality, Surface Transportation Program and Transportation Alternative programs. We received 178 applications, and there isn’t enough funding for all of them.

You can help by sharing your feedback about the applications. Visit and browse projects by organization, city or county; project category; or requested funding source.  Please share your thoughts with us by Friday, May 23, 2014.

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Region’s first Women’s Bike Summit scheduled for May 10

KCBikeSummitBikeWalkKC will host the KC Women’s Bike Summit in May as a forum to encourage more girls and women to bike and celebrate current female bicycling enthusiasts.

Bike commuting is more popular than ever — increasing 42 percent in the Kansas City area last year. Now, BikeWalkKC wants to focus on increasing the numbers of female cyclists. The summit is a venue for women of all ages and backgrounds to discuss relevant issues and provide hands-on opportunities for improving confidence.

Join BikeWalkKC for a day of workshops, discussions and break-out sessions that focus on the female cyclist.

Register to attend the KC Women’s Bike Summit.


Kauffman Foundation
4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64108


May 10, 2014
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A registration fee is not required, but BikeWalkKC suggests donations of $25 per person.

Complimentary childcare will be available.

Contact Sarah Shipley at with any questions.

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Webinar opportunity: End of the Road?

The current federal transportation legislation, MAP-21, is set to expire at the end of September, and  many people expect the revenue stream for the country’s federal transportation funds — the Highway Trust Fund —to reach a shortfall by this fall.

How will our region prepare?

Transportation for America (T4A) is hosting a webinar on this topic:

End of the Road? The looming fiscal disaster for transportation.

Wednesday, April 30

2:30 p.m. CDT

If interested, register online for this webinar.


So, what happens if our national Highway Trust Fund hits a dead end?

Take a look at this interactive infographic that shows the socio-economic impacts associated with (not) maintaining our system of infrastructure.

Note: Although the infographic has a section for state projects that would be directly impacted by the HTF projected shortfall, Kansas and Missouri projects are not detailed.

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