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Here's why you'll no longer be able to flag down a bus in Johnson County

Posted: 6:41 PM, Mar 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-20 20:21:28-04
RideKC Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — A practice described as dangerous and disruptive to traffic is about to end for bus riders in Johnson County.

Beginning April 1, riders will no longer be able to flag down buses as they pass by. The change brings Johnson County in line with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority's operations policy on the Missouri side, and leaders cite safety as the primary reason for ending the practice.

"Sometimes riders will flag a bus and they'll step to the curb or get closer to the street, and that's an issue. If it's dark, an operator might not be able to see the person," Johnson County Business Liaison Josh Powers said.

Unplanned stops can also throw the bus off its schedule and confuse other drivers.

"People know where you're going to pull over at, and if you pull over somewhere else, that's a problem," said Stephen Gatewood, a RideKC passenger.

The end to flagging coincides with a major revamping of bus routes and schedules in Johnson County after a yearlong operations analysis. Due to low ridership, the 405 Nall/Downtown route will be eliminated.

The county would like to hear from people who still consider flagging down a bus their only option.

"What I would like people to know is if they are accessing our system not at a stop, please call us and let us know. We will come out and analyze the area where you're boarding, and if it's appropriate, we'll put a stop where you are," Powers said.

Here's a rundown of the changes from RideKC:

402 Johnson-Quivira: Service on Broadmoor, Foxridge, 51st Street, and Lamar will be discontinued due to low ridership. The route will travel on Johnson Drive between Nieman and Lamar, and on Martway Street between Lamar and Mission Transit Center. Additional stops will be added to this segment of the route. The rest of the 402 route alignment will not change, except for minor schedule adjustments to account for the route change.

405 Nall-Downtown: Route eliminated due to low ridership.

435 JoCo-Downtown Midday: For all trips, the south end of the downtown route will be adjusted. From northbound Main Street, buses will turn left on Pershing to get to I-35, rather than continuing on Main Street north of Pershing.

482 Overland Park Flex: Due to high ridership and capacity constraints, an additional day of service will be added to the route each week. The route will now operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except on holidays. The route will no longer operate on Tuesdays. The schedule is also being adjusted to help keep buses on time.

519 Olathe Express: Route is being reduced to six northbound morning and six southbound afternoon trips. In addition, all trips will use a consistent alignment in downtown, except for one morning trip that will still provide express service to Crown Center. One “reverse commute” trip will still be provided in each direction but will no longer stop at Mission Transit Center. For all trips, the south end of the downtown route will be adjusted. From northbound Main Street, buses will turn left on Pershing to get to I-35, rather than continuing on Main Street north of Pershing. Schedules will be adjusted to provide more consistent spacing between buses.

563 Shawnee Express: For all trips, the south end of the downtown route will be adjusted. From northbound Main Street, buses will turn left on Pershing to get to I-35, rather than continuing on Main Street north of Pershing. Schedules will be adjusted to provide more consistent spacing between buses.

569 South OP Express: For all trips, the south end of the downtown route will be adjusted. From northbound Main Street, buses will turn left on Pershing to get to I-35, rather than continuing on Main Street north of Pershing. Schedules will be adjusted to provide more consistent spacing between buses.

595 Gardner-OP Express: For all trips, the south end of the downtown route will be adjusted. From northbound Main Street, buses will turn left on Pershing to get to I-35, rather than continuing on Main Street north of Pershing.

You can review updated schedules and maps here.