by Mary Rupert
For Connie Rideau, a new bus route from the Rosedale to Argentine neighborhoods of Kansas City, Kan., means “everything.”
Rideau, a Rosedale resident, said it means she won’t be stuck in her apartment every day doing nothing. It means she can find a job, get to the doctor and go to the store, she said.
Rideau, part of today’s bus route ceremony at Emerson Park, and other Rosedale residents worked for more than a year to get this new bus route in place. The new 105 Rosedale bus route will cost the Unified Government $290,000 annually and is operated by the Area Transportation Authority.
Carol Guenther, another Rosedale resident who lives near Rushton Elementary, said there were times she had trouble getting to her polling place at the Rainbow Mennonite Church. She added she had to make quite a few calls to find a ride. Guenther, who worked with Rosedale Development Association on this bus route project, said she also plans to use the bus to go to RDA meetings and to the Save-A-Lot grocery store in Argentine.
Not just Rosedale, but also Argentine is expected to reap the benefits of the new bus route, as residents of Rosedale without other transportation will be able to ride the bus to shop at Save-A-Lot, a new Walmart Neighborhood Market, as well as the new South Library in Argentine. Argentine residents will gain better access to the University of Kansas Hospital and doctors’ offices in the Rosedale area, as well.
Heidi Holliday, executive director of the Rosedale Development Association, said it will increase Rosedale residents’ access to employment, food, and education through the library.
“It decreases the isolation of people without access to reliable transportation,” she said.
Mark Huffer, CEO and president of the Kansas City ATA, said it was the first time in about a decade that a new bus route has been added in Kansas City, Kan.
“It’s a game-changer for our county,” said Maureen Mahoney, chief of staff for Mayor Mark Holland.
Transit, said Dan Serda, a member of the ATA board of commissioners, is essential to everything a community does, including economic development.
“It was truly a grass-roots effort,” said UG Commissioner Ann Murguia, 3rd District, who was instrumental in getting the UG commission to approve the project. She related a story at the opening event about her volunteer work years ago at Emerson School. A student was absent one day because his mother did not have transportation to get a vaccination.
“We took care of it then,” she said, and she hopes now they’ve taken care of it (in the future) for everyone who runs across these issues.
The new bus route also has a business side to it. It could help residents gain transportation to the Walmart Neighborhood Market under construction at 2100 Metropolitan Ave. in Argentine, as well as to the new Save-A-Lot store nearby. Some UG officials last year said they hoped the bus line and its access to stores in Kansas City, Kan., would help keep more sales tax money in Wyandotte County, instead of going outside the county.