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KCATA adding new MAX bus line to Prospect Avenue

Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 18:18:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — By the end of next year, the 71 bus line won't be the only one traveling up and down Kansas City's Prospect Avenue.

Tuesday morning city and transit leaders broke ground for the future Prospect "MAX" line.

"We expect the Prospect MAX line to be the jewel and the crown of the KCATA," Robbie Makinen, CEO of the Kansas City Area Transit Authority, said.

The new MAX line will run from downtown Kansas City to 75th and Prospect. It also comes with two new transit centers including one that will sit at 12th and Charlotte.

"It cannot be any more about bus versus streetcar, streetcar versus Uber, Uber versus scooter," Makinen said.

"But what we're doing here is moving people smartly in a way that allows them to stay connected and to actually stay productive while they're being moved," Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James said.

According to Ride KC, more than a dozen environmentally-friendly buses will run on the Prospect MAX line.

They'll have amenities like Wi-Fi and monitors on board displaying trip information.

Passengers will sit on vinyl seats instead of fabric because it's easier to clean.

The total cost of the project is $55.8 million. A grant from the Federal Transit Administration is picking up $29.9 million.

"It will provide safer transportation more efficient transportation. It is a piece of the puzzle I think there," K. Jane Williams, acting administrator of the Federal Transit Administration said.

Riders told 41 Action News they do think it's the missing puzzle piece on the ongoing development along the Prospect corridor.

"They're putting signs of life, there's some kind of business and it's slowly but surely coming along," Tracy Leonard, a rider said.

The current Main and Troost MAX lines serve 13,000 passengers daily. One of the stops brings passengers right in front of Reconciliation Services and Thelma's Kitchen.

"I can't wait to see that same kind of thing happening on Prospect as the community comes together and more people have access," Father Justin Mathews, executive director of Reconciliation Services said.

Construction of the Prospect MAX line is expected to be completed by next October.