So now the Max has been in operation for four full days. I finally rode it to work this morning and just as I had suspected, instead of taking 9 minutes to get there (as it did on a traffic-less Sunday), it took over 15 minutes... and that was just to the stop – it was another five+ minutes to SHS. I don't mind the walk, it's just three blocks, and besides, today was an AWESOME day.
But the point is, why would I prefer to take the bus when I can drive my car to work in half the time? Well, I'm not going to take the bus every day to work... but I will take the bus on days when it's nice outside, on snowy/icy days (I'd rather risk a wreck in a bus than in my car), or if I want to relax on my way to work.
Since the Max has been in service, there has been some pretty vocal opinions spoken out on a Kansas City message board that I frequent. Here are the issues, and of course, my take on them.
Use the designated MAX stops and don’t stop at other regular stops.
Hmmm, that's a no-brainer. I attribute this to the newness of the route for the drivers AND the regular bus-riders. This should subside in time.
Stop at all the designated stops on every run.
I disagree with this one. If no one has requested a stop, and there's no one waiting for a ride, then let's keep the bus "rapid." The only places the Max should stop and wait at are 3rd & Grand, the Plaza and Waldo.
Fix the audio system.
No-brainer. It works on some of the buses, but not on others. This morning, the lady that drove the bus I was on was announcing the stops along with the audio system... even though she was wrong half the time.
Go straight down Grand!
Agreed. But I don't think this will work in KC right now. Why? Because we're a MidWest town and people LOVE their damn cars. We don't walk anywhere! We go to the Plaza and people complain because there's too much walking! I half hope the janked up route through downtown and the Crossroads is going to straighten out when all the construction is done... but I doubt it. Travel to any other major city in America with mass transit and you'll be taking straight shot routes through the city. Don't want to walk? Fine, mosey on over to the next bus stop for the next route.
Make the third lane a designated lane all the time.
It sure would help make this whole "rapid" deal more legit.
Run the buses more frequently.
I haven't noticed a problem with this, yet. But a bus every nine minutes during rush hour doesn't seem so bad to me. I do wish they'd run every 9 minutes during lunch, as well, though.
Make the buses free during lunch hour, evenings and weekends, or all the time for that matter.
Here! Here! Screw the lunch hour one, but evenings and weekends would rock. And would encourage safe(r) drinking, perhaps.
There are more things that have been said, but they're very costly suggestions. I think the Max is a trial run for Kansas City, I think they're weighing if people would really use a more robust mass transit system. I'd say that with all the feedback they're getting, there's a good chance that people would. I know several co-workers that are going to try it out from the Waldo stop, I think that's great. I also encourage everyone who can take ride the Max to a destination, to do so... the more riders and the more feedback we can provide, the better off KC will be.
Got something to say about the Max? Email them now!
+ original post date: July 27, 2005 08:17 PM
+ categories: KC