For JCCC students who need transportation to the campus or areas in the Johnson County area, look no further. College students can use their JCCC ID to ride for free on any RideKC bus, this is especially helpful for students who may not have a means to get to campus.
The “U-Pass” is also available for more than just JCCC students. Anyone enrolled at University of Missouri-Kansas City, Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas City Art Institute or Donnelly College is eligible for the U-Pass. Automatically loaded onto the student ID, the U-Pass guarantees a free ride to any student except along the K-10 route to Lawrence.
Additionally, the Micro Mobility Service can also be accessed with a student ID. This is a big advantage for students who may not live near a bus stop. Typically, most Micro-transit trips will use a van, however, recently RideKC has added taxi cars for high-demand times. This service can be accessed through the RideKC app, phone or via their website.
Student Carmen Rivera was an avid user of RideKC and its Micro-transit service prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Basically, it’s a rideshare [service], kind of like Uber,” Rivera said. “[You put in your address] and then it picks you up at your house and it takes you wherever you want to go, and it’s free [for students]. It’s definitely been a help for me especially with going of back and forth [from] school. “
The COVID-19 pandemic radically changed everything about how public transportation operated. From how often these services are sanitized to the number of passengers that can be on one ride at a time, the COVID-19 crisis has forced RideKC to reevaluate their business. Since the pandemic began, RideKC had to cut around 50% of its rides to JCCC campus. Buses that used to leave hourly now only leave a couple times a day, due to the shortage of people taking public transportation. Drivers and passengers must take safety precautions in order to ride. Every other seat is blocked off and passengers enter through the back door to limit the amount of contact the driver sees. Face-covering masks are required and there are hand-sanitizing stations along the aisles.
“There’s not a lot of differences, [between now and pre-COVID-19] except that now you have to wear masks [in the vehicle],” Rivera said. “I always like to take a little bottle of hand sanitizer with me. Before COVID-19, there would be up to four or five people in the vans, whereas now they usually have no more than two or three [passengers] at a time.”
Currently RideKC is looking at expanding its service to more places within Johnson County Metro area. For more information regarding RideKC and their Micro-transit service visit the RideKC website or download their app for the most accurate information about when and where the buses stop.
By Alieu Jagne