New bus route expands benefits to MCC U-Pass riders

RideKC’s Route 55 Universities-Crossroads starts July 2.

Metropolitan Community College students have even better transportation options now, thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and a brand-new RideKC bus route, designed specifically with students in mind.

The College is starting Year 2 of its free U-Pass bus program for students, and RideKC is getting ready to launch a new line called Route 55 Universities-Crossroads on July 2.

Last summer, MCC partnered with the KCATA to bring students a new way to ride the bus: the U-Pass. This program allows enrolled students at all five MCC campuses to ride any RideKC bus for free. The program has greatly benefited students without access to other modes of transportation who otherwise would have struggled to get to class, work and other obligations.

MCC students have taken more than 10,000 rides with the U-Pass since the program started.

Route 55 Universities-Crossroads will connect the three major college campuses in midtown Kansas City: MCC–Penn Valley, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Rockhurst University. In addition, it will also have stops downtown, in Westport and on the Country Club Plaza.

The addition of this bus route not only provides a more straightforward way of getting around Kansas City, it also makes it easier for students enrolled at multiple campuses to get to their classes. Because MCC has transfer agreements with both Rockhurst University and UMKC, students often take classes at multiple campuses simultaneously.

“This is a great new route,” said Chuck Ferguson, the KCATA’s chief planner. “It serves a corridor with thousands of students, giving them access to some of the area’s most exciting destinations.”

From when the program started last August, through the end of 2016,  MCC students took 97,920 RideKC trips. That number obviously continues to grow.

The new route connects three of the metropolitan area’s major college campuses.

“We are beyond thrilled that the MCC partnership with KCATA continues to expand to serve our students by removing barriers to access higher education while also promoting public transit to improve the environment,” said Shelley Temple Kneuvean, MCC’s vice chancellor for financial and administrative services.

To learn more about the U-Pass, click here.

To read more about the RideKC route addition, click here.

Click here for the new route schedule and map.

Chebet Buckner contributed to this story.