Ride-sharing services aren’t new in Kansas City, but a new service by RideKC hopes to combine the convenience of ride-sharing with those who use public transportation.
Officials with RideKC offered 41 Action News a look at the new service this week, which is already being used by some residents in the area but officially launches on May 1.
Here’s how it works: In two test areas of the city – one in the northland and another south of the river – riders can download the ATA’s RideKC Freedom On-Demand app (a call-in number is available for those without smartphones) and request a pick-up, much like traditional ride-sharing services. Then, using a combined fleet of taxies, other public transportation cars and private automobiles, a car will pick up the user.
The ATA says the fares for the general public are competitive with other ride-sharing services – a base rate of $10 for the first five miles, and $2 for each mile after.
More importantly, the ATA says, the service will offer a big improvement for those in the metro who are disabled. Previous public transportation options have been limited and require at least a day’s notice. Those with disabilities also qualify for reduced rates on the service: $3 for the first eight miles and $2 for every mile after that.
“This eliminates those barriers and allows folks like myself to compete,” said Robbie Makinen, president of KCATA. Makinen, who lost his sight several years ago, uses public transportation. “It allows us to get the same service you get.”
Riders 65-and-older qualify for rates of $5 for the first eight miles and $2 for every mile after.
RideKC.org has set up a web page with more information about the service, including service areas, cost breakdowns and how to see if you qualify for reduced fares.