RideKC modifies service due to staffing shortages

Northeast News File Photo, 2018

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will temporarily roll back some RideKC transit service starting Monday, Nov. 23. This is due to the increasing community spread of COVID-19, which is resulting in higher than normal absenteeism among KCATA’s operator workforce.

Consistent with the Safer At Home orders and recommendations issued by area counties and municipalities, KCATA, in partnership with the city of Kansas City, Mo., recommends transit riders only make essential trips going forward, such as:

  • rides for groceries
  • trips for physical and mental health needs such as appointments and to pick up prescriptions
  • and trips for essential jobs including hospital/medical, grocery/food service, and essential production.

“RideKC will continue to provide essential service to riders at zero fare,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president and CEO. “If customers must make essential trips, they can have confidence that RideKC is continuing all of the safety protocols that have been in place consistently throughout the pandemic, such as a mask requirement, rear door boarding and limiting the number of seats available.”

In general, most RideKC core routes operating every 15 minutes will continue at that level of service. Low frequency routes will be temporarily canceled to allow the remaining operators to focus on the core network, where the need is greatest.

The reduced schedules create potential for significant delays. Notices for routes will be sent through RideKC Notify and will no longer be posted on RideKC’s web page. Visit RideKC Notify to learn how to sign up for text, email or phone notifications for the routes you use. For next available bus, contact the Regional Call Center at 816-221-0660 on weekdays, or use online trip planners and bus trackers

“Transit operators are on the front line seven days a week and we’re proud of the work they are doing during this challenging time,” according to KCATA. “Contact tracing indicates employee exposure is mostly due to activities and risks from outside of the workplace.”

Face coverings are required on RideKC buses and the streetcar under the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s new order and under previous orders. See KCMO.org for allowable health exceptions. 

Fares continue to be suspended on all RideKC buses, including those operated by KCATA, Independence, and Johnson County and Kansas City, Kan. Fares are expected to remain suspended at least for the remainder of 2020. Fares resumed on 199 Micro Transit and 499 Microtransit on Nov. 9. 

RideKC has confirmed one positive COVID-19 test result for a bus operator in November. Details of what dates and routes they drove within the last month are provided at this webpage, updated Nov. 12. 

RideKC wants to know if you have not been able to board a bus when it was at capacity due to social distancing. RideKC asks persons use the Contact Form or send a brief email with the the route, direction of travel, location where they tried to board, date and time.

On all RideKC buses with a rear door, riders are asked to board and exit through the rear doors. This helps with social distancing between riders and operators. Riders who need to use the ramp or kneeling feature can board at the front.

KCATA buses are being sanitized every night with a misting sanitizer using aqueous ozone, and all surfaces on buses are wiped down with a sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is now available on each bus for customer use.

For the latest schedule updates and RideKC news, visit RideKC.org.

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