Survey Seyz: Economists Skeptical About Funding For Kansas City 'Free' Bus Rides

Money line worth a good look from this comprehensive report from our favorite number crunchers:

"Shared the draft report with some university economists for their comments. Each of them pointed out the failure to account for additional spending to cover the lost fare revenue."

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About That "Economic Impact Study" Conducted on Free Bus Service in Kansas City . . .

In a January 26, 2020 column for The Kansas City Star, the CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) advocates for making bus transit inside Kansas City free. His piece is largely an emotional appeal, but then he offers this:


  1. Gee no kidding.

  2. You mean there are laws of economics? I thought socialism fixed all that

  3. Actually, there is NO funding plan for free bus service.
    Just like there's very little actual funding budgeted for a whole host of "projects and programs" that show up out of left field.
    Instead, the KCMO "budget" is mostly just one big slush fund, and as the cash gets spent without regard for what and how, the borrowing continues.
    Elementary school kids have more financial savvy and more responsibility than smiley selfies Lucas and the clowns at 12th and Oak.

  4. Hell they don't have the funding for the streetcar let alone free buses. That overpriced airport will be coming due soon.

  5. Unfortunately the advocates for transportation didn't take the high road of reality. No such thing as a free lunch. Other cities have done the free thing before without success. I'm not a fan of the show me institute, but the effort required to pursue the feedback from experts was minimal; and the advocates for transportation didn't do in kind. At notation on a resume for the Mayor at the expense of the long term viability of both transportation in Kansas City and the city as a whole.

  6. And don't forget, they have a shitload of TIF $ to give to their wealthy developer cronies...

  7. maybe they should start slow by making it free to and from specific destinations. Say 80th and 71 hwy or 75th and prospect to downtown. no planned stops along the way. riders can pull the cord if they want off someplace. You know, for economic development.

  8. No indication "free" transportation provides benefits one way or another. Vehicle ownership is a $500 a month expense (ownership is more than just the cost of gas...); but a bus pass is $50 a month. The metro area should focus on more diverse sources of funding for transportation, including the fares from the passengers. The cost of the bus isn't the most common complaint about the bus. But then again, the advocates for the "free" bus haven't done research into the pros and cons of the current transportation system. The endless "surveys" are poor copies of surveys done elsewhere.

  9. In KC the leadership is more likely to embrace projects that make no economic sense.

  10. Hey, be like Bernie. Don't worry, be happy!


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