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FAQs

Independent Study 1

A study by the Center for Economic Information in the University of Missouri Kansas City’s department of economics states that the top four categories that will receive the lion’s share of money consumers save on bus fare will go toward housing, medical, retail and insurance.

Independent Study 2

Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) released the findings of a six-month study to show the economic impact of public transit in the state of Missouri.

Will there be increased safety concerns with Zero Fare transit?

KCATA is one of the safest transit agencies in the country. Over the last five years KCATA averaged 13 million rides per year. Less than .01 percent of those rides resulted in a safety incident. Ninety percent of incidents involving drivers were a direct result of $1.50 fare dispute. KCATA will be adding additional security staff in response to potential public concern that increased ridership may result in safety issues. In addition to increased safety due to the absence of farebox disputes, continuous riding of the bus system is no longer permitted.

Does KCATA have capacity to support an expected increase in ridership?

Ridership is expected to grow 20% in the next five years. KCATA currently has an average growth capacity of 20-50% (30% seat capacity and up to 50% standing*). Within the next 5 years the streetcar will extend down the Main Street corridor between Union Station and UMKC; this allows KCATA to reallocate the Main Street MAX line – both of which further expand capacity and help alleviate any overcrowding potential. (*Standing is anticipated on a very small number of buses and only during peak rush hour periods.)

Will there be an increase in operational, labor and maintenance costs due to increased ridership?

KCATA does not anticipate an increased cost in maintenance or labor. KCATA has implemented preventive maintenance and fuel efficiency programs that make our buses more efficient. Should new buses be necessary, 80% of the needed funds would come from federal government discretionary transit funding.

Will the quality of service decrease with Zero Fare?

Actually, KCATA anticipates an increase in quality of services. Removing the farebox allows riders to enter and exit the bus without stopping to pay. This will allow drivers to run on time without delays due to the farebox. When disputes are low, and transit is able to run on time, drivers have increased job satisfaction.

If fare isn’t collected, how will you track ridership?

KCATA has automatic passenger counters on most buses. Service levels throughout the entire system are closely monitored. If changes are necessary, quarterly updates or major redesigns can be deployed.

Who will benefit from ZeroFare KC?

As of 2020, over 20% of KCATA bus ridership is already zero fare. These riders include veterans, students, and those who are getting benefits from our partner Safety-Net providers. Once ZeroFare KC is fully implemented, anyone needing transportation to get to a job interview, work, school, a healthcare provider, a food provider or any other location in Kansas City, Mo., will have free access on RideKC.

When would ZeroFare KC go into effect?

Depending on the funding identified, zero fare will most likely be implemented this summer or fall, only in Kansas City, Mo. As more funding is secured, it will expand regionally.