Contact: Angela Gates
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today celebrated the completion of two new transit centers and other transit improvements that will significantly enhance bus service for thousands of riders traveling along State Avenue, a major east-west Kansas City corridor that connects people with work and other services in the region. The projects were funded primarily with a $10.5 million 2009 DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.
“Expanding access to transit helps thousands of hard-working Kansas City families gain access to the jobs, job training, education, and health care services they need to succeed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Over the last five years, DOT’s TIGER program has committed more than $3.6 billion to help communities plan and build more than 270 projects like this one that strengthen our nation’s transportation infrastructure.”
FTA Regional Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad joined state and local officials at the opening of the new Midtown Metro Center at 47th and State Avenue. The other project, the Downtown Metro Center at 7th and Minnesota Avenue, opened in August, 2013.
In addition to the TIGER funds, nearly $1.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds contributed to the $13.1 million set of projects on State Avenue, which also included upgraded bus shelters and better pedestrian access to bus stops along State and Minnesota avenues.
“The State Avenue corridor improvements reflect an ongoing commitment by Kansas City and Wyandotte County to build a public transportation network that connects the city with its suburbs, so that families can spend less money on gas, and less time sitting in traffic,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “The region’s efforts are paying off, as transit ridership continues to grow, supporting the area’s revitalization efforts and creating new economic opportunities.”
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has worked with the Unified Government Transit of Wyandotte County to implement the State Avenue transit improvements. KCATA reported record ridership in 2012, with annual ridership exceeding 16 million trips—a 10 percent increase over the last two years.
The TIGER grant funds for the State Avenue transit improvements are part of a larger $50 million TIGER grant awarded to the Kansas City Transit Corridor and Green Impact Zone Project in 2009 to revitalize key neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban area and improve access to jobs throughout the region.