KCATA approves contract for transit services in Independence

While Northland and Wyandotte County bus riders will soon see new transit services, Independence won’t be so lucky beginning next year.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority approved a new contract Wednesday which will raise fares 25 cents in Independence and still cut some transit services. The fare will go from $1.25 to $1.50.

Rising transit costs — fuel being among the biggest — coupled with a decline in federal funding forced the city of Independence to look at ways to trim bus service.

A citizens advisory committee last week suggested ways to deal with the funding shortfall, including a fare increase and cuts in some service.

The new ATA contract with Independence follows suit. The new contract also means that buses will shut down for two hours on some routes (Green 183, Blue 285, Orange 292 and Purple 284).

Transit planners also will cut the Independence leg of the No. 28 Blue Ridge route.

This isn’t the first time Independence has had to cut bus service. About a year ago, the city cut service from hourly to every two hours on the Yellow and Red lines that serve north east and east Independence because of funding problems.

On other fronts, the ATA approved a new contract that calls for beginning Sunday service on on some route(s) in Kansas City, Kan., this fall.

It also is moving ahead with a plan to expand Northland bus service in an effort to help relieve any traffic congestion caused by the construction project over the Missouri River on I-29/35.