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'It's very frustrating': Commuters demand immediate action to improve local bus services

Commuters demand immediate action to improve local bus services
Posted at 6:07 AM, Sep 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-21 07:18:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Residents in Kansas City are growing increasingly frustrated with the deplorable conditions, frequent delays, and bus stop safety plaguing the city's public bus system.

For many, their commute to work, school, or simply to get around town solely depends on our public bus transportation, but many are hoping actions are taken to address the current bus conditions.

Complaints from passengers like Kimberly Harper, who has been riding the metro bus for years, paint a grim picture of the state of local buses in the city.

“The wait times are really bad. It’s like they don't give you an opportunity,” said Harper.

Frequent delays and unreliable schedules have become a routine part of commuting in the city. Harper said a minute late to your stop can mean an hour to two hours of waiting for the next.

“Another thing that is going on with these buses is that you could be standing on the bus stop, okay. You just a few minutes, feet away from the bus stop, you know the bus driver won’t even wait and take off."

Another frustration for many of these daily passengers is the safety of the bus stops. Many riders fear for their safety at many of the bus stops around town due to the increase in crime and violence in the city. Andre Johnson, who rides the bus every day, said bus stops need to be better monitored after encountering many scenarios where his life has been put at risk.

“You get to the bus stop on 31st, and Prospect, you got the hole with the bullets in it. I mean, that scares people off because they look at the bullets and say, “Oh Lord Jesus Christ”. Is the safety really there?

As the city grapples with these pressing issues, Harper remains hopeful that their voices will be heard and that meaningful change will come to the local bus system, offering a safer, more comfortable and punctual commute for all riders.

“Where do we stand? You know, how do we fix this problem? Because it’s a problem. It’s a problem in this community,” said Harper.

Local advocacy groups like Sunrise Movement KCare demanding more concrete action and a clear timeline for these improvements. In a call to action, the organization plans to walk the steps of City Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday, Sept. 21, in hopes of fast, free, safe, and reliable buses.