Getting around Kansas City : How to Ride KC (the bus) service

If you are coming to Kansas City to visit and you are arriving by either air, train or bus; you might need to get around using the Ride KC or the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. This is also known as the city bus to the locals.

They have been at it since 1965 and they are currently merged all the bus transportation together in the Kansas City area under the name of RideKC. They say that will fully completely by 2019. (It seems to be done in most cases) However, covering seven counties in two states can be a challenge.

There is several spots around downtown that they call “hubs,” for meeting the bus to anywhere in the city you are going. The important one for most route is at 10th and Main just across from the main Library. Most of them routes run south to Bannister Rd and north to Antioch Rd.

There is also some express bus that they call Ride KC MAX they run on the main veins of the city that have limited stops. You can see the timetable here for the Max route for Main and here is the one for Troost. They also have a direct bus (#229) to the airport’s terminal C. Here is that timetable. 

How to use Ride KC (public bus in Kansas City)

While using the bus is about the same anywhere in America, it can be a little different. You go to the stop you are close to and get on the bus, pay the fare and then sit down. You will be given a transfer good for two hours just like about anywhere.

There is some routes that would be of interest to a tourist visiting Kansas City. The following are the ones you will need to get to the main attractions that most people would want to visit.

If you going to the Kansas City Zoo, You will want to take Bus No. 18 or Indiana. It will take you from downtown to the main entrance of the Zoo. It runs most of the day and the last trip is at 4:34pm. Here is the timetable for that route. 

If you are looking to head to Worlds of Fun or Oceans of Fun, That is Bus No.. 77 or Casino Cruiser that runs most of the day as well. The last bus to go by the park is at 11pm. It is important to note that the bus only comes to the park on the northbound trip. Here is the needed timetable.  

You might be thinking about going to the Negro Baseball Museum, in order to get there; you will need Bus No. 71 or Prospect and get off at 18th St. It is a short ride from downtown (about a mile) so be watchful. Here is the timetable for that route.

The good news is that the bus from Ride KC run about every fifteen minutes on main routes and they even ran on Sunday every hour. Using the bus is a very practical way to get around the metro for tourists.

What is the fare for Ride KC and what about passes?

Most of the routes cost $1.50 to use the service with four express buses to the suburbans costing $3. This will get you across the city as long as you are on the final bus by two hours after you got on the first bus.

If you are going to do quite a bit traveling, you might look at the daily and weekly pass. You can buy the daily pass right on the bus for $3 that is good for twenty four hours. If you plan to move around to more than one thing, it pays for itself. The pass is the same cost as one round tip.

There is also a three day pass that cost $10 that works much the same way as the day pass. The only differences is that you can only get online by clicking here and that you can’t use the express buses to the suburbans. This should not be an issue for the tourist.

If you are spending several weeks in the city, you might look at getting the monthly pass for $50 that is just like the 3 day pass but ten times longer. Nothing else is really different.

It is worth noting that if you have a disability of any type, you can get your fare for half the price. This makes the visitor’s pass only $5 to travel arounf the city for three days and see what Kansas City has to offer. You will have to visit the Ride KC office to buy it on 18th Street.

Kansas City has a streetcar

A few years ago, the city of Kansas City started a projection to develop a street car system in downtown. They currently have one route that run for two miles and it is free to use.

As of right now, it starts in River Market and runs to Union Station where Science City is located. It stops every two blocks to pick up and let people off. It also has spaces for bicycles if you have them.

One of the benefits of the street car is it does connect the Ride KC bus to the airport with the Amtrak station. This could be useful for people traveling and the stop close to the Greyhound is just a few blocks away too.