Let's start by making it plain so that our betters won't forget . . .
NOBODY REALLY WANTED FREE BUS RIDES, CUSTOMERS WERE WILLING TO PAY FOR BETTER SERVICE!!!
Per ushe . . .
MISGUIDED PROGRESSIVE POLITICS TURNED BUS RIDERS INTO BEGGARS & WORSENED SERVICE IN THE PROCESS!!!
The Mayor & members of council championed this nightmare but they had plenty of help.
Let's quickly roast the hot mess players in the lead photo . . .
Fifth District Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw - If ANYBODY was watching ethics rules she would, at least, get her wrist slapped for the many conflicts of her administration. She's married to the Public Works honcho and should recuse herself from most votes. She's enjoyed remarkable opportunity in her career but after a few years in office it seems that she's not qualified for any gig that doesn't start by asking the question: "Hi, may I help you???" and then working to direct customers toward delicious menu items.
City Manager Brian Platt - He's new to cowtown corruption and deserves a bit of a break. But this quickly beloved municipal Adonis (*blush*) is wicked smart and learns quickly. This might explain some of his recent hires.
Mayor Quinton Lucas - The Mayor never met a horrible progressive idea that he didn't like. He expended a great deal of goodwill and taxpayer cash on free bus rides without understanding that the complicated biz of transit can quickly bankrupt even the most financially stable municipality. The reality is that the mayor's office likely grew greedy with all of the cash the ATA has to
throw around invest in pet projects with political payoffs.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Robbie Makinen - This dude basically secured this job because of his questionable connections to former Jackson County Exec Mike Sanders . . . And then Mike was thrown into the federal pen. Robbie should have been fired back in 2018 but his reign has mostly been to serve as "useful idiot" for smarter politicos. Now it seems his unlikely career is no longer useful.
Director Of Public Works Michael Shaw - He's an under-qualified former trash man who has already done a great deal of budget damage. His incompetence and yet another beneficial but sketchy appointment helped to spark the current bus money fight but it's not really his fault . . . We must blame "the system" which allowed this guy anywhere near a keyboard.
Council Dude Eric Bunch - The 4th District upstart LOVED the idea of freebie bus rides but THE PROFESSIONAL DREAMER also seems to think we can all pedal bikes into the future.
Very much like TKC, Eric Bunch can't manage to make a trip to CostCo without looking like a "special" person with the marginal ability to cross the street without holding someone's hand. (Caveat: TKC enjoys holding hands!!!)
Eric Bunch only talks to his bike rider brahs because he's out of his depth when the conversation isn't basically an adolescent rant against his dad's old Chevy. He's not an elected representative of any community, he's a discount, regional Docker's commercial from the 90s.
Now, in fairness, we wanted to take a peek at how the newspaper views this hot mess . . .
Bus service needs to be better. This crisis should serve as a starting point for a fundamental review of the KCATA’s oversight of bus transit, including a new look at its budget and the quality of its service.
Makinen seems to have complained that City Hall was too fond of raiding bus funding sources for other city needs, including streetlight installation. We must be clear: Diverting money from local bus taxes is inappropriate and must come to an end. Kansas Citians want to pay sales taxes for the bus, and that’s where the money should go.
At the same time, there is little indication the bus service’s problems come from a lack of money. KCATA was expected to get more than $53 million in CARES Act pandemic relief funds from the federal government, and other federal grants are likely. That money should have helped maintain and improve bus service over the past two years, even as local revenue slumped.
“They’ve got plenty of money,” City Manager Brian Platt said . . .
A notable aside in order to defend a bad idea that's turning out poorly . . .
"Despite whispers to the contrary, free fares are not the cause of spotty bus service, or KCATA’s perceived budget woes. The fare box generated little revenue for the service, and — as Makinen is happy to point out — travel by bus is safer and more convenient without fares."
Respectfully and in a voice much louder than a whisper . . .
WRONG. Freebie rides have CLEARLY DEGRADED & CORRUPTED Kansas City bus service. The effort has turned this vital KCMO institution into a piggy bank and not a viable mode of transit.
Just as our blog community predicted . . .
Kansas City bus free rides have sparked DISASTER even with a surplus of cash. Now, imagine the nightmare just a bit down the road when money, inevitably, gets tighter.
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com links . . .
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There's some tension at the largest transit agency in the Kansas City area as the CEO's future may be in the balance. The KCATA board convened in a special meeting Thursday afternoon. Behind closed doors, members of the KCATA board spent two hours talking about the agency's CEO, Robbie Makinen.
In an article published early this morning, KC Star reporter Mike Hendricks recounted a six-month-long, cloak-and-dagger tale highlighted by three dramatic meetings leading up to the decision to fire Robbie Makinen as president and CEO of the Area Transportation Authority. As it turns out, the main reason Makinen will either be fired today or asked...
OPINION AND COMMENTARY Ongoing turmoil over the leadership of Kansas City Area Transportation Authority CEO Robbie Makinen is more evidence the city's bus service is in crisis. Kansas Citians deserve public bus transit that is safe, reliable, convenient, comfortable - and free. Sadly, those goals continue to slip.
Developing . . .