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News

Erin Stryka with the Ride KC: Bridj van
Try Me: KCATA’s Bridj
By: Admin
Tags: , , , ,
Jun 13, 2016

New Transit Service for KU Area

By: Erin Stryka
Healthy Kids Program Director
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has launched a new one-year pilot program aimed at increasing transit access to jobs. Ride KC: Bridj takes riders to locations within two employment-heavy zones: the area surrounding the University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center, and the Hospital Hill and downtown Kansas City, MO area. During the pilot year, KCATA hopes to gather data about how Bridj can best increase access to employment for Kansas Citians.

Bridj requires a smartphone and uses an app to schedule pickups. I downloaded the app to give it a try. Bridj costs $1.50 per ride, and using the promo code KCBRIDJ, new Bridj riders can get 10 free rides. I plugged in my location (Fisher Park) and received walking directions to the nearest Bridj pickup point, across from the Dykes Library on 39th Ave.

All Bridj vehicles are locally-built Ford vans. I watched the vehicle approach the pickup point using the tracking function on the Bridj app, and when I boarded, the app had already informed the driver of my destination. During the pilot period, Bridj follows a fixed route with four pickup and four drop off points, so I enjoyed the 30 minute ride through several Kansas City areas on the way to River Market.

Since Bridj is intended for commuters to specific areas, it currently runs from Monday-Friday, 6:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m. It may also only run one-way at certain times. I was able to ride from Dykes Library to the River Market, but not able to ride back to Dykes Library on the same afternoon. The lack of return service gave me an opportunity to try out another new KCATA service, the RideKC Streetcar, which is now open, free to ride, and took me to a transit station where I caught a bus back to 39th and Rainbow Blvd.

For those who work in the Bridj service areas, it’s a good time to try out the service and use the 10 free rides. I recommend scheduling your rides in advance and making sure service is available where and when you need it. You can also submit a request to expand Bridj service to a new area using the app. During the pilot program, Bridj is collecting data on where riders want to go that they aren’t currently covering.

To learn more about the KCATA’s Bridj service, visit http://www.kcata.org/news/ride_kc_bridj_begins_service_march_7.