The JO, Johnson County’s public bus service, is in for some changes next year — and that means less service rather than more.
Two routes that touch Prairie Village were among the routes that faced cutbacks in the original proposal, but one of those has been restored. The other, route 575 that runs along 75th Street from the state line to the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park, will see a service reduction under the proposal. Route 667 that makes four trips up Nall Avenue from 107th Street headed for the University of Kansas Medical Center and downtown Kansas City, Mo., stopping at the Lamar Ave. transit center, was originally on the cutting block for elimination, but after public comment it is spared in the revised proposal.
Cuts to Route 575 were not affected by public comment. It runs from 75th Street and Troost (connecting to Metro service) along 75th Street through Waldo all the way to Shawnee Mission Medical Center and then down Quivira to KU connecting to Johnson County Community College and Oak Park Mall. It will lose five of its 17 trips per day and reduce its prime time service from every 30 minutes to 60 minutes. A flex route during mid-day picks up at houses within .75 miles of the 575 line and will also see a service reduction.
The original budget-cutting proposal called for losing nine routes, but that has been cut to five marked for elimination. Several others see reduced service like 575.
The new proposal goes to the county transit committee later this month and is expected to be heard by the county commissioners on Oct. 11. The service cuts resulted from a reduction in federal and state funding. The county is currently planning to keep its 2013 funding for The JO level with its 2012 funding.
The JO services and public transit were one of the budget items that the commissioners asked for comments on during a public outreach on the budget early this year.
Maps, budget and service information are available on the county’s transit site, http://www.thejo.com/.