KCATA and Johnson County Transit make partnership official

KCATA_JCT_ConsolidationOn Dec. 17, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and Johnson County signed a two-year agreement that allows KCATA to provide administrative and management services for Johnson County Transit. The Johnson County Board of County Commission approved the agreement on Dec. 11.

This official partnership and consolidation of services is expected to save Johnson County about $455,000 while positioning KCATA for a stronger role in coordinating regional services. In advance of the agreement, the two organizations conducted a study with results that supported management consolidation.

At a signing ceremony this week, Ed Eilert (left), chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners and Robbie Makinen (right), chair of the KCATA Board of Directors, made the partnership official.

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

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 one transportation-related program:

2015 1st  Quarter Amendment to the 2014–2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
(comments due by Monday, Jan. 5, 2015)

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 amendment to the 2014–2018 TIP includes 12 projects: nine new projects and three modifications, including:

  • #627002 and #634070 —Projects in Grandview and Jackson County, Missouri, recommended for Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) funding.
  • #180073 — Intersection improvements at U.S. Highway 73 and Marion in Leavenworth, Kansas.
  • #738108 — Sugarland Drive improvements in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

Details of the projects are available online at www.marc.org/Transportation/Plans-Studies/Transportation-Plans-and-Studies/TIP/TIP-AmendmentArchive/Archive-assets/15Q1amend.aspx

Please submit your comments by Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

  • 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: transportation@marc.org

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

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

We want your feedback

comment bubblesThroughout the year, MARC seeks public comments on transportation planning efforts and major planning amendments. We are currently seeking feedback on two items related to the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The UPWP is an annual planning document that promotes a regional approach to transportation planning in order to achieve regional transportation goals and objectives.

In short, the UPWP:

  • Details major transportation projects, with information about who will perform the work, project schedule, activity goals and project budget.
  • Documents the proposed spending of federal, state and local funds.
  • Compiles information from local governments, area transit providers and the state departments of transportation.

The Draft 2015 Unified Planning Work Program

Major initiatives proposed for 2015 UPWP include responses to MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act; completion of the Transportation Outlook 2040 update; continuation of the Planning Sustainable Places initiative; analysis of regional transportation performance measures; development of the 2016–2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); and a Bus Rapid Transit study for Prospect Avenue. A complete list of major goals and initiatives is outlined on the transportation public input webpage.

Amendment #4 for the 2014 Unified Planning Work Program

This amendment includes:

  • Revision of task 2.5, Transportation Research and Database Management: reduction of staff expenditures (funding decrease of $20,000).
  • Revision of task 1.1, Program Administration: funding for equipment replacement (funding increase of $20,000).
  • Addition of task 6.9, KC Workforce CONNEX: MARC and its area transit partners were awarded a $1.2 million TIGER (Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Recovery) grant for a study to double the number of jobs accessible by transit over 10 years.
  • Adjustment of the MARC operating expense budget in Appendix C, Schedule 3 to reflect changes in tasks 1.1 and 2.2, as described above.

Please submit your comments by Thursday, Nov. 6.

  • 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: transportation@marc.org

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

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Transportation funding recommendations recently announced

Funding_wheel_smThis month, the MARC Board of directors will consider a recommendation from the Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC) to fund more than $100 million in area transportation projects.

The process began in March with a call for projects for transportation funds from three sources: 2015–2018 Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality funds, 2017–2018 Surface Transportation Program funds and 2014–2018 Transportation Alternatives funds. MARC received 181 applications seeking $410 million — about four times the anticipated funds available.

Committee stakeholders participated in a June workshop to evaluate project applications and make recommendations.  “This was a very competitive process and our committees spent many sessions deliberating,” said Missouri TTPC co-chair David Bower.

Programming committees made final recommendations with at least partial funding for 94 transportation-related projects around the region.  A list is available online.

“These recommendations reflect a balanced distribution of modes, project types and geographical  locations and are well-aligned with the planning committees’ priorities and regional policy goals,” said Kansas TTPC co-chair Chuck Adams.

The funding recommendations were announced in September, followed by a period for public review and comment before final decisions are made by TTPC and the MARC Board.

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Region receives $1.2 million TIGER grant

kc_wf_connex_smInitiative will explore expanding job access through transit improvements

In September, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $1.2 million TIGER (Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Recovery) planning grant to MARC and its regional transit partners.  This grant, along with local matching funds, will finance KC Workforce CONNEX, which will outline plans to double the number of jobs accessible by public transit over the next 10 years.

MARC applied for the TIGER grant on behalf of the Regional Transit Coordinating Council, RTCC – a partnership of MARC, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Johnson County Transit, Independence Transit and Unified Government Transit.

A recent Brookings Institution report found that only 18 percent of jobs in the Kansas City region can currently be reached by transit trips in 90 minutes or less. The KC Workforce CONNEX study,  expected to begin in early 2015 and last 18 months, will use employment and population forecasts to help create a balanced regional strategy that will provide more transportation options and strengthen people-to-jobs connections across the region using a four-part strategy:

  • Identify high-priority areas where improvements will have the most impact.
  • Expand the region’s existing corridor framework, connecting more suburban employment centers.
  • Engage employers and community organizations in planning through extensive public engagement and outreach.
  • Use technical tools to evaluate specific strategies and recommendations in targeted, high-impact areas.
Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

2014 Planning Sustainable Places: By the Numbers

Applications for Planning Sustainable Places grant funds are currently under review. This competitive grant program, launched in 2013 as part of the Creating Sustainable Places initiative, funds planning projects that help advance sustainable development objectives.

The Total Transportation Policy Committee will vote on grant awards in November, and successful applicants are expected to begin their projects in January 2015.

PSP_numbers

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Updated NRI planning tools now available

NRIIdeabookMapstack__landcover_smThe Natural Resource Inventory, originally compiled by MARC in 2005 and updated this year, includes a suite of planning tools and publications, including detailed, high-resolution land cover data and maps that can help inform environmental, development and planning decisions across the Kansas City region.

Two new books, published in June, illustrate how the NRI can help local governments evaluate policy, land use and development decisions.

  • The Nature of Greater Kansas City — Conservation, Restoration and Enhancement of Our Land, introduces the concepts behind the NRI and is geared toward a general audience. The fourth in MARC’s Idea Book series, it provides a high-level overview of the value of the NRI data in promoting stewardship of natural assets and achieving the quality of life expected by residents and businesses.
  • The Nature of Nature in Greater Kansas City — Using Natural Resource Inventory Data in Planning delves into the technical aspects of the NRI, with detailed maps that feature topographic information, ecosystem services analysis, conservation and restoration priorities, and are overlaid with additional data layers such as transportation corridors and greenways, both existing and planned, and population growth forecasts – providing an in-depth look into potential applications of NRI data sets.

These tools will be valuable in linking future land-use and impact on transportation planning. Both publications are currently available on the NRI downloads page at marc.org/nri. The page also contains links to download the NRI data, in geodatabase and layer file formats suitable for use with GIS software.

Staff contacts: Tom Jacobs, tjacobs@marc.org, or Andrea Repinsky, arepinsky@marc.org.

 

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Transportation Matters 2040 process update

TO2040_MayMeeting_7627_blogThe revision of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan is in full swing. MARC’s transportation committees are rolling out individual drafts of the chapters to modal and planning committees. Committee members will have the chance to offer input over the next couple of months and review content to ensure it supports the region’s transportation goals. Draft content can be found on committee webpages, as chapters become available.

Back in May, regional stakeholders gave input on modal regional transportation priorities and in June, the Total Transportation Policy Committee approved a list of highway project priorities for Missouri. MARC’s committees will work this fall to create and approve the project lists for Kansas highway projects as well as other transportation modes. All priority lists will be included as part of the plan update.

The final Transportation Outlook 2040 update is expected to be presented to the Total Transportation Policy Committee in 2015 and will be available for review.

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Congratulations to KCATA and Kansas City, Missouri residents

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe Kansas City Area Transportation Authority received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a $300,000 match from the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The KCATA will help create a “Ladders of Opportunity” along the Prospect Avenue corridor by adding rider amenities, updating sidewalk and curb infrastructure along with the addition of bus shelters and benches.

Dick Jarrold of KCATA is pictured here with U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx who received a personalized Metro Stop on Monday, Sept. 29.

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

RTCC making progress on regional “to do” list in its first year

RTCC_Septmtg_0735smIn September 2013, the Regional Transit Coordinating Council (RTCC) launched with many goals in mind for its first year. The RTCC brings together key stakeholders and decision-makers from local governments and all of the transit agencies in the Greater Kansas City region to help create a more seamless, regional transit experience for riders.

Accomplishments to date:

  • Since April 2014, riders have been able to use Johnson County Transit’s 31-day pass* as a universal pass, honored on The JO, KCATA, IndeBus and Unified Government Transit buses.
  • A regional transit map showing routes for all four systems was developed earlier this year. Plans are currently under way to create a printed map, including a frequent network map that highlights corridors that have service every 15-30 minutes throughout the day, for regional distribution.
  • All four area transit systems are now using General Transit Feed Specification — a common format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information. In short, this means riders in the Kansas City metro can find routes for all four services using Google Transit.
  • The RTCC worked on developing a regional transit brand and identity with Willoughby Design. Concepts were shared with various transportation committees and with the public in a transit stakeholder forum earlier this year. The RTCC hopes to approve and adopt a new brand in early 2015. The branding would eventually be applied to buses, signage/bus stops, fare cards, maps and more.
  • As KCATA undergoes a redesign of its website, it will be designed to serve as a single regional transit website with integrated information from all area transit services. The site will carry the regional transit brand once it is adopted.
  • Mobility management planning was launched to improve the delivery of transportation services for passengers with special needs, create a uniform eligibility process, and centralize trip planning through a one-call/one-click call and dispatch center. KCATA and MARC staff presented a work plan to the RTCC at its July meeting.

In addition, RTCC members are working to finalize the council’s work plan for 2015 and expect to approve the plan in November. Key tasks include:

  • Conduct a regional study of transit fares and fare policies, and propose a strategy to implement a new fare payment system.
  • Continue region-wide mobility management planning.
  • Update the SmartMoves plan, the Kansas City regional transit vision that was last updated in 2008.
  • Oversee KC Workforce Connex efforts to develop a plan that will double transit-to-employment connections in 10 years. This 18-month project received a $1.2 million in TIGER planning grant in September.
  • Expand the vanpool program across the region.
  • Address current funding policies and develop a strategy for future transit investment.

The RTCC is co-chaired by Robbie Makinen, chair of the KCATA, and Brian McKiernan, commissioner of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. RTCC partners include KCATA, Johnson County Transit, Independence Transit, Unified Government Transit, and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority. The Mobility Advisory Council (MAC) and the Transit Stakeholder Forum are advisory bodies to the RTCC.

*Some bus routes excluded, as noted online.

Staff contact: kclawson@marc.org

Follow us at @kcsmartmoves.

Share via emailShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit