NewsLocal News


KCATA hopes to expand rideshare service RideKC Freedom

Posted at 12:17 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 12:46:10-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mary Carter used to wait around a lot.

"Sometimes it might be one hour, sometimes it might be six hours," Carter, who uses a wheelchair, said.

All of that time was spent waiting for a ride to and from work or to see friends and family.

"It made doing the everyday stuff not so fun," she added.

But Carter doesn't sit around anymore; at least, not for long. 

"It says ETA 15 minutes," Carter said while looking at the KCATA's RideKC Freedom app on her phone. 

Since the app launched in May, it has been used for 20,000 trips. 

"I'm able to be more independent as I can use RideKC to get to the gym, grocery store, doctors' appointments and meeting with friends all on my own," Kirby Hough, another RideKC Freedom user, said. 

While the KCATA initially created the rideshare service to make life easier for people with disabilities and the elderly, it's something everyone can now use.

"Not only can I, as someone with a disability take that service, but so can you. We get the same service," KCATA President & CEO Robbie Makinen explained.

The same service, but elderly and disabled passengers receive a discounted rate of $3 for the first eight miles and $2 per mile after that. For other customers, there are no surge prices, and part of your fare goes right back to the KCATA to fund programs.

Right now RideKC Freedom is available in two test areas, one north of the river and one south, but that's about to change.

"At the beginning of the year we're going to talk about how we can implement it in the whole KC region," Makinen said.

Carter is excited that like her, others will no longer have to wait around for a ride.

"It has opened up so many avenues for me, both professionally and personally," she said.

You can download the RideKC Freedom app for your iPhone or Android. If you don't have a smartphone, you can schedule a ride by calling 816-842-9070.