The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the Unified Government of Kansas City, Ks./Wyandotte County, (UG) will celebrate the grand opening of the downtown KCK MetroCenter at 7th & Minnesota Avenue at 10 a.m. on Aug. 9.
The Grand Opening will include the Kansas City, Kan., Police Honor Guard and the Wyandotte Nation Honor Guard; a smoke ceremony; and the reveal of the refurbished Winkler Clock. Speakers will include KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer, Mayor Mark Holland, former Mayor Joe Reardon, regional administrator for the Federal Transit Administration Mokhtee Ahmad, KCK Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Cindy Cash, Police Chief Armstrong, and Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend.
Buses will begin serving the new MetroCenter next week. The seven routes serving downtown KCK will have more convenient connections between Metro and Unified Government Transit routes. The 101-Minnesota-State Ave. will travel along Minnesota through downtown, and six other routes will make passenger stops at the new Downtown KCK MetroCenter. It is expected that more than half of all riders in Kansas City, Ks., will travel to the center.
The MetroCenter also features real-time bus arrival information for Metro routes. In addition, greatly improved passenger amenities will be available at the new transit center and at several stops along The Metro’s 101 route serving Minnesota and State Ave. In addition to the Downtown KCK MetroCenter, there will be another MetroCenter at 47th & State Ave. (Indian Springs), passenger shelters and benches, bus stop platforms, landscaping and improved pedestrian connections.
“More and more people are figuring out that transit is an excellent way to save money and go green,” Huffer said. “We are excited to partner with the unified government to bring better facilities and a better passenger experience to our transit customers in Kansas City, Kan.”
State Avenue Connex improvements are funded through a $10.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additional funds are provided by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Livability grants and the Unified Government, for a total project investment of $13 million.