The Johnson County Commission should seize the chance this summer to finance significant improvements in public transit.
That’s going to take a little bit of extra money in the next budget, but the payoffs for residents and businesses would be worth it.
Officials with the JO have developed a comprehensive plan to add services on key east-west streets that will help more people get to jobs and educational facilities.
Routes would connect Johnson County Community College with Rosana Square shops as well as the Prairiefire and Corbin Park centers, for instance.
The KU Edwards Campus would be better linked to the community college.
JO routes would provide more service across the state line, helping Johnson Countians get to their workplaces as well as to other locations such as the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
And with extra buses, the crucial Metcalf Avenue spine would become more valuable to people who want to travel around the county.
The commission should approve the small property tax increase necessary to finance these service upgrades,
The proposed boost of about $2 million a year in transit funds would equate to about $7 a year in higher property taxes for the average homeowner.
Johnson County for years has limped along with a public transit system that does not adequately serve the elderly, the poor, many baby boomers or lots of millennials. In other words, most of the entire county’s residents.
The proposed upgrades are long overdue and worth hearty endorsement by the commission.