Johnson County Government has been awarded funding to implement a new, jobs-focused regional connection between southwest Johnson County and southern Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas Department of Transportation awarded the county $168,000 in grant funds.
The grant funds, along with a match from Johnson County, provide for new commuter service from the recently completed Three Trails Transit Center, located at Blue Ridge Boulevard and Bannister Road in south Kansas City, Missouri. This new route will connect with the new reverse-commute service from downtown Kansas City to the Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) in Edgerton. The reverse-commute service was approved by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners on Feb. 15.
“These funds support our ongoing work to connect people to jobs in southwest Johnson County and create a more effective transit system for the region,” said Ed Eilert, Board of County Commission Chairman. “The state’s grant allows us to implement these changes sooner and more efficiently for our residents.”
“By enhancing the recently approved service that connects Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, with a connection to the southern Kansas City metro area, we are able to both provide service to an area that we haven’t previously, as well as expand the ability of job seekers to get to the many employment opportunities in southwest Johnson County,” said business liaison Josh Powers.
KDOT’s funding was awarded from a commuter discretionary program that allocates resources to innovative solutions to transit barriers to jobs. The total cost of the Three Trails enhancement is $210,000, with $168,000 coming from KDOT and a local match of $42,000 from Johnson County.
The new commuter service will provide three morning trips and three afternoon trips from the Three Trails Transit Center to LPKC beginning in July 2018.
The new service to southwest Johnson County approved by the commission in February is slated to begin in April 2018, and provides reverse commute trips from Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, to LPKC and the BNSF intermodal facility in Edgerton, Kansas, and New Century AirCenter, which is home to several thousand private sector job opportunities.
KDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Planning oversees the commuter discretionary program, and selected the proposal based on its employment focus.
“This funding seeks to promote innovative and sustainable commuter services in Kansas,” said KDOT Comprehensive Transportation Planning Manager Cory Davis. “The ability to serve new areas and get people to jobs in expanding markets fits well with the goals of our program.”
Johnson County Government contracts with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to provide regional transit services.