Partnership in the News: Kansas transit center opens thanks to TIGER grant

Mission Transit Center. Image via the Federal Transit Administration.

Mission City, Kansas recently celebrated the grand opening of the Mission Transit Center, a new transportation hub serving Johnson County designed to enhance service for current riders, attract new riders and connect transit to key areas where people live, work and play.

In 2010, the greater Kansas City region was awarded a $50 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to assist transportation and infrastructure projects in the region. As part of the grant, Johnson County was awarded $10.7 million to upgrade its transit system.

The Mission Transit Center includes space for eight buses, three passenger shelters and six real-time electronic bus schedules as well as benches, bicycle racks, a park-and-ride facility and a new traffic signal system to improve timing and efficiency for city busses.

“This new transit hub is vitally important to the region’s ongoing effort to spur new economic development in the region and better connect the surrounding neighborhoods with downtown Kansas City,” said Peter Rogoff, Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration.

Johnson County bus service saw a 20 percent increase in ridership from 2011 to 2012 and Johnson County Transit Planner Shawn Strate thinks that number will only increase in coming years.

The TIGER program has invested over $3.1 billion in over 200 projects around the country, improving access within cities and towns, spurring economic growth, and making communities more sustainable since 2009. TIGER is a part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Partnership works with communities to create more housing and transportation choices, and support neighborhoods’ sustained vibrancy by attracting new business. If you want to see more projects like this, ask Congress to fund these programs today.