Clay County - News Flash

Liberty - News Flash

Gladstone Canceling All Bus Routes in September 2023, Citing Rising Costs of Kansas City Free Bus Ride Mandate

Effective, September 1st, 2023, all bus services in the City of Gladstone will be discontinued in favor of taxpayer subsidized taxi rides. According to a City of Gladstone Press release: "Beginning the first week of July, Kansas City ATA (KCATA) will post notice in all Gladstone bus stops that the ATA bus service in Gladstone will be discontinued in 60 days—approximately by September 1st . Buses will continue to flow through Gladstone, but pick-up and drop-off locations will be at stops outside of Gladstone city limits."

But due to rising costs, well, the Gladstone City Council smelled a fish and called foul. As 41HSHB reported "Last year, the Gladstone's contract was $87,000 for all transportation services, including bus, Flex and paratransit services. This year's contract, which begins July 1, increased to $340,000, according to the release."

The city cites an increase in cost for transportation services as the reason for discontinuing the services, saying the increase is "not fiscally sustainable for the city's budget," in a release.

Notices of the change in transportation services will be posted at Gladstone bus stops starting the first week of July. "

This all stems from Kansas City's decision to make the bus rides free and small cities like Gladstone just can't afford it. You see folks, the bright minds at the Kansas City government decided that instead of going through the hassle of creating new bus lines, they've decided to go all out and subsidize taxi rides to the bus stop. Yes, you heard that right. Taxi rides. Because who needs efficient, direct bus routes when you can enjoy the thrill of hailing a cab to get to your nearest bus stop? Commuting has never been more convoluted and exhilarating!

As this happy lil rock reported back in March, IRIS a new micro transit service, was created that aimed to address the dissatisfaction among Northland residents regarding limited public transit options.  Iris is a collaboration between the Kansas City government, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, and zTrip, a local taxi service. Similar to Uber or Lyft, Iris allows users to request rides through a smartphone app, then take that ride to the nearest bus stop. The service divides the Northland into six zones, and users can travel within these zones for a fee. Iris is intended to enhance public transportation and connect people to existing bus services in the Northland. If the taxi rides were covered under the free bus fare, however there was no word on how much this will be costing the city.  

For the time being, Gladstone decided to participate in the IRIS transport program. Of course, subsidized taxi rides were going to be expensive. As for the rest of the Northland inside Kansas City proper, perhaps it is time to consider that the flagrant misuse of our community resources would be best resolved by simply parting ways with KC south of the river. Succession Baby!