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“Once They Ride This Bus, They Love It”

a2Seattle may order hundreds of buses from Greenville company

Seattle King Metro recently bought two battery-powered buses and a fast charge system for a trial run.

Following a one-year trial period, the agency has a pre-arranged option to purchase up to 200 more buses and additional fast charge systems.

With this purchase, the Seattle area is the latest in a group of metropolitan areas, including Stockton and Pomona, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Worcester, Mass.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Seneca, S.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Reno, Nev.; and Louisville, Ky., to purchase and deploy Proterra EV transit technology.

In addition the Washington DC Circulator bus service will soon be replacing its fleet of 49 diesel buses, which dates from 2003, and local transit authorities are organizing one-day showcases so that decision-makers and riders can check out new bus models that will be vying for the contract. South Carolina-based Proterra brought its 40-foot, 77-passenger electric bus.


Louisville Mayor Chooses Proterra

a2 Mayor Greg Fischer is investing in 10 new zero-emissions buses to serve downtown Louisville.  The city investment is $500,000, which will be leveraged 22 times with federal and private sources for a total $11 million to buy 10 new zero-emissions buses and create two charging stations. This is seriously smart thinking.

Up and coming we are facing the prospect of a $214 million dollar Main Street streetcar line, which we do not believe is smart thinking.  For roughly $26 million 18 Proterra EcoRide™ BE35 zero-emission ultra quiet electric buses with charging stations can be purchased (Fed Grant Eligible) and can serve an entire corridor from Union Station to The Plaza – UMKC (Main St. Plus) round the clock.


That would be nine modern, comfortable, quiet buses running each way north and south.  With all our concerns about the under funding of education, public safety, and all our other assets that are being neglected, discarded, and mostly ignored, what choice would you make?

We are including Mayor Fischer’s May 22 press release so people can remember, or learn in some cases, what responsible leadership is supposed to do.  Make smart, realistic, and ethical decisions that benefit everyone, while continuing on a path of carefully cultivating truly sustainable growth that is honest, transparent, modern, serves people, and is fiscally responsible.

Mayor Presents Balanced City Budget, Investing Heavily in Safety, Youth Development

Thursday May 22, 2014

Gas franchise fee on LG&E will be spent only on Public Safety

Mayor Greg Fischer today proposed a balanced budget for the new fiscal year that makes significant public safety and youth development investments, while also paving roads, fixing park facilities and government buildings.

In his annual budget address to the Metro Council, the mayor said that the budget he is presenting is “an improvement in many ways” over the one he first presented in 2011, a few months after taking office. At that point, the city was carrying $450 million in long term debt, and had a $25 million structural imbalance in the budget.

“I told you then point blank: tough decisions had to be made….but I also told you that we would regroup, reprioritize and regain our financial security. And we’ve done that,” Fischer told the council. “The plan I’m presenting reflects a journey that we have been on together over the course of four budgets.” (more…)

Smart Options Everywhere



Has the Kansas City Streetcar Authority convinced you or someone you know that streetcars are the only option? Take a few minutes to discover what can be done without the need for a city to gamble away a half billion dollars of your money on a transit fad that’s not even about ridership.


Houston Metro, burdened with a transit system devised in the 1970s, has proposed an extensive makeover of the local bus service under its System Reimagining Plan. Moreover, the plan sidesteps the need for new money by redeploying existing resources rather than relying on fare hikes and more system funding.


In Columbus, there was a small budget for expanded service, but still, 90% of what is achieved here is the result of reallocation: removing overlapping routes and deviations, removing duplication, and in some cases removing service that very small numbers of people were using.

Jarrett Walker is an international consultant in public transit network design and policy. And explains the status of these two projects in the following articles.  A must read for those interested in modern, affordable, regional transit that works.

Columbus: a new transit network plan

Houston: transit, reimagined


First Day Of Spring 2014

Who Has the Time and Motivation to Comprehend the Challenges We Are Facing? Not Everyone

The citizens and volunteers of SMARTKC are putting in unusual hours to help you understand the problem and the dynamics that are generating the problem, otherwise it is impossible to reach a solution or practical plan of action. SMARTKC is a diverse organization of citizens from all walks of life with one common purpose. Accountability, fairness, and ensuring that creative, practical, and intelligent solutions level the playing field socially and economically for everyone, not just special interests.

Here is an entry with video John Awald posted on our Facebook page we would like everyone to consider regarding phase 2. Did the Mayors advisory council consider this before voting to extend the streetcar system south of 51St through Brookside on March 8? Apparently not.

“There is an alternative that would make sense if KC had adequate sewers and great schools. This attached video demonstrates what light rail in Kansas City may have looked like, including the line proposed/defeated in the November 2008 election. Note this route serves South Kansas City and downtown without hurting Brookside.”