It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas on The Metro and The Max.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority this week started rolling out its special holiday buses.
“We have been doing this for 15 years and people love it,” said Cindy Baker, the KCATA’s vice president of communications.
This year, one Max bus and a regular Metro bus have been retrofitted with fireplaces in the rear of the bus.
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To make room, the rear back seat is removed and a wood mantel is constructed and put in its place. A fake flickering fireplace light is put inside the mantel, giving the appearance of a fireplace.
“It makes you feel warm and toasty in the back,” Baker said.
The mantel is decorated with a holiday motif including wrapped gifts.
On three other buses, lights and garland have been strung throughout the buses.
The KCATA’s maintenance, body shop and marketing departments work on the project together.
Although the buses officially hit the streets Thanksgiving night for the Plaza lighting celebration, they have made an early appearance this year.
The KCATA has also announced its holiday schedule.
On Thanksgiving Day, it will use its Sunday/holiday schedules.
The Jo, IndeBus and Unified Government Transit will not offer service.
Regular weekday service resumes Friday for The Metro, IndeBus and Unified Government Transit. The Jo will offer reduced holiday schedules on Friday.
For the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, customers can take the Max or Metro.
The Max Main Street Orange Line operates on a Sunday/Holiday schedule, with service every 30 minutes throughout the day. The last regularly scheduled northbound bus leaves the Plaza at 12:10 a.m., and the last regularly scheduled southbound bus leaves the Plaza at 11:34 p.m.
Plaza service on Main Street Max, 35-35th Street, 47-Broadway and 57-Wornall will reroute around the Plaza because of the expected traffic congestion. The routes will still get riders close to the ceremony.
The reroutes will begin at 6 p.m. and end when traffic clears, approximately 11 p.m.
For the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, routes that usually travel on Grand Avenue serving Crown Center will be rerouted from 3 p.m. to midnight because of the ceremony. The lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m.
Customers can call (816) 221-0660 for information on a nearby Metro bus stop.
Routes that will be affected by reroutes include Main St. MAX Orange Line, 34X-Shoal Creek-Liberty Express, 36X-Gladstone Express, 37X-N. Broadway Express, 54-Armour-Paseo, 129-Broadway-KCI, 132-Gracemor, 135-Winnwood/69 Hwy, and 142-North Oak.
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