Imagining the Possibilities

The Interstate 70 and Rock Island corridors are major commuter corridors in our region. These two corridors, serving major municipalities in Jackson County, are critically important in any comprehensive transportation system. The I-70 and Rock Island corridors have been identified as priorities in Smart Moves; a long-range, regional transportation plan.

The Jackson County Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis began in the summer of 2011, and examined ways to enhance transportation along the Interstate 70 and Rock island corridors. The purpose of the study was to identify an alternative to operating vehicles on increasingly congested roadways, improve system reliability, reduce transit trip durations, and increase travel speeds. An alternative is hoped to result in increased desirability and competitiveness of transit services for commuting and other trip purposes, and added mobility options for the region. Issues the partnership team feel the study will help address include land use and economic development, increased transit service, and sustainability.

Enhanced Transit Options for Jackson County

Alternatives considered in the JCCCAA ranged from making minimal improvements to existing infrastructure, to expanded bus service, to regional rail. The alternatives went through several rounds of screening and evaluation, and were measured on categories including: feasibility, time competitiveness, environmental impacts, and traffic impacts.

In November 2012, the project team drafted final recommendations for improved transit options in the two corridors. A phased approach of regional rail, express bus, and biking trails was recommended. Commuter service would begin with express bus service along I-70 and M-350, and regional rail would be implemented along the eastern, then southeastern corridors. Acquisition of the Rock Island rail corridor would allow for trail development to occur quickly, tying the Kansas City metro region into the state-wide Katy trail system.

The results of the JCCCAA have built upon previous research, tie into, and complement, the US-71 Transit Study.