Tuesday, December 17, 2019

TKC READER FACT CHECK: KANSAS CITY NOT THE FIRST TO OFFER FREE TRANSIT!!!



An EXCEPTIONAL NOTE from our reader community that deserves attention and offers not only historical context but contradicts our local political elite.

Here's the word . . .

Latest free-transit "pie in the sky" PR scheme:

In their desperate efforts to jump out in front of cameras and generate headlines for themselves with our tax dollars, the first casualty is usually the truth as politicos stumble all over themselves to oversell their latest transit vaporware. The most recent transit pie-in-the-sky PR scheme is the potential offering of free mass transit to all. At a first non-critical blush this idea seems to potentially hold some allure, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it plays right into the SJW default PR setting of our local media. However, with a more critical eye, there is just so much to pick apart here that it is simply hard to know where to start.

Let me start with the first big lie: Claim: KC will be the first "major" city to offer free transit on America! Aren't we smart and progressive?! Fact: 100% and totally FALSE, and so clearly false that it could be framed as an outright lie by those claiming it (namely the head carnival barker at the KCATA, and the Mayor).

For just a few quick examples of free transit experiments: L.A. (through Commerce City) has offered free transit services since 1962; Amherst, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; San Francisco, Santa Monica; and the list gets fairly extensive.

The fact that these cities still aren't offering free mass transit schemes would seem to lead someone (read: a viable press or media) to ask the logical question, why not anymore? If It is such a "can't miss" idea, then why has everyone that has tried this idea subsequently abandoned it? As the local media seems much more interested in simply printing politicos talking points than doing their jobs.
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You decide . . .

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

They aren't still doing it now because it cost too much money. KC is going to have to learn this the hard way. Too bad there wasn't any research from media outlets to point this out. Or any real voices to stop it on the council. It passed unopposed.

Anonymous said...

Credit where credit is due: we are the first city without money to offer free bus rides.

Anonymous said...


It's funny to address all of these cities that give free transit and they are extremely dysfunctional city's. Kansas City says all they need is 8M to cover the fares? Even the minimal amount of fare kept the undesirables off of the bus, now there will be loads of people who will pee on the bus and tear things up not to mention assaults. I saw these same people piss and crap in the park on Armour and Harrison Blvd during the afternoon and all day long, until they closed the park. Think about about Sly's 25 million tourists who won't ride now. Not smart to follow other places that are failing. But that's KC follower not leader.

elBryan said...

I want to speak to this, y'all.

When we formed SMARTKC in 2014 (and successfully blocked streetcar expansion) our organization actually recommended that the city offer free bus service as an alternative to expanding the streetcar.

So I actually believe this is a realistic endeavor and I'm excited about it. Let me explain why.

The streetcar has been siphoning $2M from the annual bus budget every year. We should end that beginning next fiscal year, and that's 25% of our goal right there.

Secondly, in order to obtain federal TIGER funding for the 2.2 mile streetcar starter line, streetcar advocates had to show that they could fund that project with money collected in the TDD as it existed in 2012 dollars. After passing that starter line, they immediately began boasting that they were attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to the River Market, Downtown, and the Crossroads. They claimed they were doing so well, in fact, that they ordered more streetcars to the tune of $5M each to keep up with the ridership demand.

As a streetcar opponent, I will argue that KC's streetcar has been successful, and that is because it is free, and it was *designed* to be free. Now I am suggesting that they can spread that wealth to transit riders all across the metro and use the TDD funds to offset the remaining cost of bus fare across the metro.

Streetcar advocates will not want to do this, because they are struggling to fill their budget hole with UMKC and Riverfront expansion, since the Trump White House is unlikely to give them the federal funding they need any time in the next five years.

If we don't earmark their surplus for the working class bus riders across the city, it will be used irresponsibly to attempt to expand the streetcar; so there's no fighting it. If we don't demand that most or all of the money comes from the TDD, we're going to be paying for "no fare" buses *and* streetcar expansion over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

At this point only fools and cads believe the bullshit coming out of this city's pr departments.

Anonymous said...

Oh hey Stalder how's your nigger wife, oildriller? Go do something useful like kill yourself.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason cities abandon this idea: It COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY and is UNSAFE. In Portland they had to scrap the idea because of the huge upswing in crime on the free transit system. Also hobos were camping out in their buses and street cars rather than sleeping outside, which made people not want to ride. This is another in a long line of very stupid and amateurish ideas.

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of millions for developers, and you all bitch about a few mil for the poor? What a bunch of losers.

And 4:31, your comment is beyond NWOR and you are decidedly NOCD.

Anonymous said...

First off, it's not "Free"

Second, traveling by bus just got a lot more dangerous

Anonymous said...

^^^^ +100

Homeowners have to pay once again.

Retro ROCKER said...

If it is free you will need Transit Police. Even on air craft flights were you pay for tickets you have mental people flying. On a free bus,ride the Meth heads will run rampant, going to get there next fix.

Anonymous said...

Meth heads and crack heads. This will go down as a multi-million dollar boondoggle and should cost the head of the KCATA his job when it all falls apart, as we know it will. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Duh! Kansas City is not the first to do anything. Kansas City follows. It does not lead. That's been true for decades, if not forever.

Anonymous said...

^^^Sortta like you fatass? Shit, the only thing you’ve ever led is the line at the buffet!

Anonymous said...

Hide your wallet, the free shit army is coming.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Selfie will want to cut positions at the City. But he’ll have to do that every year. And he won’t touch his buddies or the KCFD. So there won’t be enough money for this boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

If the city wants to lose $9 million a year in lost bus fare revenue, how will they ever find the money to expand the bus system into a better system? No one should have to wait 30 minutes or an hour for a bus like we have now. How will that improve with no revenue? We need more buses, electric buses and more bus rapid transit on North Oak Trafficway, Independence Avenue and State Avenue in KCK.