The Kansas Area Transportation Authority in May will expand its late-night bus service on three major routes to connect to the new streetcar system as well as key employment and entertainment centers.
The KCATA’s board of commissioners last week approved the expanded service, which will be available on its Main Street MAX, Troost MAX and the Broadway-47th Street routes.
The later service will be on Friday and Saturday nights with buses running until 2 a.m. the following day to match the streetcar schedule, which also ends at 2 at that time.
The expanded hours on Friday and Saturday nights are scheduled to start May 13. That’s a week after Kansas City streeetcars start carrying their first passengers.
The KCATA is expanding the hours on those routes after it received requests for additional service once the streetcars were running.
The announcement came the same week a Jackson County circuit judge denied a request from the Kansas City bus drivers union to temporarily delay the streetcar’s public opening.
Currently, the last Main Street MAX bus leaves downtown at 11:37 p.m. on Friday and 12:06 a.m. on Saturday. The last Troost MAX bus leaves downtown at 11:42 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. And the last 47th-Broadway bus leaves downtown about 10:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Under the expanded late-night service, the 47th-Broadway route will be shortened, with the route ending at 47th Street.
Late night service on Troost MAX travels to Troost and 75th Street while the Main Street MAX route travels to 75th and Wornall Road in Waldo.
The KCATA hopes the expanded night service will provide better access to jobs in downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads area, Hospital Hill, the Westport entertainment district and the Country Club Plaza.
“Our new service will help people get to work at odd hours when transportation can be hard to find,” Robbie Makinen, chief executive officer and president of the KCATA, said in a release. “Plus, it will provide new ways of reaching entertainment hot spots at convenient times without the hassle of driving.”