KDOT awards programs to help Kansans access public transportation

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) awarded over $1 million worth of grants to 14 different areas across the state as part of its Access, Innovation and Collaboration Awards.

Public transportation is a large issue, especially for senior citizens, according to Anne Smith, director of aTa Bus in Manhattan and chair of the Kansas Public Transit Association.

“The lack of transportation is a real issue for people, whether they need jobs, or they’re aging in place or they just need access to medical care,” Smith said.

With these grants, KDOT is hoping to make it easier for Kansans to have access to public transportation.

aTa Bus was one of several companies and communities that received funding for specific projects that would improve Kansas’ transit systems. The grant will go towards improving an intersection in downtown Manhattan, as well as adding more buses and bus shelters.

“We couldn’t do it without that investment by the state,” Smith said. “It’s just that simple, and we’re no different from providers across the state. Without those dollars, we couldn’t provide the services that we do.”

Johnson County also received a grant, which the city government is planning to use towards improving their micro-transit pilot program.

This program is similar to rideshare companies such as Lyft or Uber, where users can use an app to request a ride to a specific location. However, Johnson County’s program only costs users $1.50 per ride.

“Micro-transit’s a great balancing act to make sure that people can get to the services that we provide,” said Josh Powers, Business Liaison for Johnson County Government.

The micro-transit rides are used often to get to other transportation systems that the rides do not reach, Powers said. This grant will not only go towards improving the rides but will also help people have access to these other systems.

“Transportation cuts across every aspect of our lives, right? So employment, education, access to healthcare, keeping people in their homes longer,” Powers said. “So if you don’t have mobility, you can’t live your most full and best life.”

These awards will also benefit the state’s economy. With every $1 invested towards the state’s transportation system, $4 are received in economic return, Smith said.

The full list of Access, Innovation and Collaboration Awards recipients are below.

City of Dodge City-Vehicle Storage Facility
-Shared Maintenance Facility*
$471,760
City of Liberal-Vehicle Storage Facility$593,440
Developmental Services of NW Kansas (DSNWK)-Facility and Equipment Upgrades$50,669
Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency-Maintenance Facility Upgrade$222,030
Northeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging-Multi-use Transit/Aging Facility$1,095,053
Rice County-Vehicle Storage Facility$166,927
Starkey, Inc.-Maintenance Facility$600,000
Sunflower Diversified Services-Maintenance Facility$1,021,500
City of Dodge City-Vehicle Security Cameras$19,200
City of Liberal-Vehicle Security Cameras$21,227
Developmental Services of NW Kansas (DSNWK)-Maintenance Vehicle$63,497
Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency-State Match of Federally Funded Transit Vehicle*
-Low Floor Transit Vehicle*
$116,087
Johnson County-Automated Passenger Counters$174,600
Lyon County-Vehicle Security Cameras
-Vehicle Wraps
-Dispatch Radios
$66,658
Northeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging-Vehicle Security Cameras
-AWD Transit Vehicle
$78,942
Reno County Area Transit-Low Floor Cutaway Transit Vehicles (3)$312,000
Starkey, Inc.-Fleet Expansion$223,440
City of Lawrence-Naismith Mobility Upgrades$326,185
City of Liberal-Shelters for Existing Stops$40,000
Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency-ADA Upgrades – 600 Poyntz Ave.$588,725
Johnson County-Expanded Operations for Transit in Low-Income Areas*
-Healthcare Access Collaboration*
-Mothers and Infants Health Access Vouchers*
-Food Insecurity Transit Access Vouchers*
-Data Clearinghouse and Dashboard*
$749,949
Pratt County-Expanded Operating Hours*$106,222
Starkey, Inc. -Fleet Expansion$223,440
Topeka Metro-ADA Improvements
-Electric Vehicle Fleet Study
$297,725

*Denotes a State Funded Project – All other projects are Federally Funded

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