KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Changes for RideKC passengers are coming to the Walmart located at 11601 E US Hwy 40, Kansas City, MO 64133 in Blue Ridge Crossing.
A Walmart spokesperson told KSHB 41 News it is terminating access to the current bus stop at the front of the store effective Jan. 2 due to safety concerns for employees and customers.
The spokesperson wouldn't go into more detail about what those concerns were, but said the company has tried to solve the issue in the past and has not been successful.
The bus stop has been on Walmart's property for more than 10 years, according to David Johnson, vice president of planning and strategy for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.
"Our agreement was that they could terminate it at any time," Johnson said. "We received a written notice a few months ago, and so we're just now getting around to unveiling what that impact is to the traveling public."
For blind Kansas City resident David, who preferred not to give his last name, losing the stop raised concerns for himself and other riders with disabilities and elderly people being able to access the business.
While there are other Walmarts with access to public transit, David said this location is preferred as it is a super center and is easy to access from the bus stop.
"They do have some people that are in wheelchairs and other mobility devices that have a hard time going any further than that much distance," David said.
KSHB 41 News brought David's concerns about elderly people and those with disabilities to KCATA.
Johnson said the authority is adding a new bus stop directly behind Walmart on 43rd Street. The walk from the new stop appears to be the same distance to the front of the store as the old bus stop.
Johnson said the new stop will still be a good option for the elderly and people with disabilities.
"There are sidewalks along the north side of 43rd Street, and so that's why we chose that route to allow people to board and exit the vehicles," Johnson said.
Johnson said the only convenience riders will lose are benches and a shelter at the stop, which KCATA is looking into adding in the future.
The new stop should be up and running within the next month.
This affects routes 28 Blue Ridge, 31 31st Street, 47 Broadway, 302 Blue Route, 399 Raytown Flex and 570 Blue Springs Express.
Other existing stops are between between Sterling Ave. and Blue Ridge Blvd.