New bus company may take most KCATA routes in Independence next year

Two bus companies likely will operate in Independence next year.

The city is poised to contract with both Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and First Transit. Under terms of a recommendation approved Monday by a city transit committee, the KCATA will continue to operate a route between Independence and Kansas City.

First Transit, which operates bus service in Johnson County, will operate several local routes within Independence.

The committee agreed Monday to forward the proposal to the Independence City Council, which will hear the first reading of an enabling ordinance on Jan. 3. If approved, the new services will begin in July.

The KCATA has operated bus service in Independence since 1972. However, several times in recent years, officials and residents have adjusted the company’s routes because of rising costs.