RideKC’s transit system faces criticism for poor communication and customer service | Opinion

Revamp ride

As a resident of the Kansas City metropolitan area, I am always searching for hard-to-find public transit options. The emergence of the RideKC regional transit system in 2015 was a breath of fresh air, and its transition to zero-fare buses has helped make public transit more equitable.

However, using RideKC is too difficult for patrons, with smartphone apps, a lack of transit location information and an absence of communication with riders. Aside from the RideKC Bike app, the system’s apps count many negative reviews and low ratings from users. Patrons have complained about buses not showing up, wrong travel times, inaccurate information, poor customer service and more.

It is time for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to revamp and centralize the RideKC system. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides billions of dollars of funding to improve transit infrastructure, and KCATA received some of this money.

This is the perfect opportunity to improve RideKC’s apps and website to be more accurate about transit locations, arrival times and more. It’s also a chance to combine the multiple apps into a single RideKC app that connects riders to their public transit needs. It is a vital step in bridging the communication gap between RideKC and its riders.

- Janhvi Parsai, Lenexa

Bad impression

I recently walked from Crown Center to the River Market, and all I saw was trash, trash, trash. I spoke to a bellhop, who told me there was a big convention in town filling 5,000 hotel rooms.

Can you imagine the attendees’ impression of Kansas City with the streets littered with trash, homeless people camped in the park across the street from the Westin, the Korean War Veterans Memorial being used as a shelter and just a general sad state of affairs?

City crews should start at 4 a.m. and clean the streets so that city residents, tourists and conventioneers see a clean, uncluttered city, not a trash dump — which is what we have now.

If I were in charge, the first thing I would do is give the public works department an overhaul and make sure cleanliness of the streets is job No. 1. Don’t worry about bike lanes that are rarely used, but the streets that are the first thing people see when they come to KC.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Come on, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council. Do your job. Clean our city.

- John David DiCapo, Kansas City

True wealth?

Each year, Gallup compiles its World Happiness Report using quality of life survey data from 140 nations, with input from interdisciplinary experts. This year’s report found Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden atop the rankings. All four nations use their tax bases to provide for public health care, child care, public education and retirement — all of which are prohibitively expensive in the United States.

Perhaps we are not the wealthiest nation on Earth.

- Phil Anderson, Manhattan, Kansas

Who pays

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson and House Speaker Dan Hawkins have come up with a brilliant idea to move the Chiefs across the state line. They wrote to Clark Hunt proposing that Kansas build a football stadium for the Chiefs. The best part is that the billionaire owner wouldn’t have to spend a dime, because Mexico will pay for it.

- Gregg Gehrig, Overland Park

Birth control

Can children become well-adjusted adults if their birth parents did not want them or were unable to provide the kind of upbringing the kids needed and wanted? Some turn out fine. Others are abused or neglected.

If you doubt this, consider the reasons we have so many people in prison, so much mental illness, so many unhappy people who have trouble with the demands of our changing world. There are reasons some people break laws and can’t live peacefully in society.

What about the emotional damage suffered by some children whose parents can’t raise them? Children in foster care? Children living on the streets? Many are tortured with the question: “Why didn’t my parents want me?” In some quarters they are called “throwaway children.”

Part of the answer is affordable or free birth control approved by society. Abstinence is a cruel joke.

If birth control for both men and women were ubiquitous, perhaps you or your descendants would not fear being gunned down. There could be enough resources for all, and our seriously polluted and overcrowded planet would thank you.

- Barbara Fredholm, Lee’s Summit

Gun tragedies

Congress passed the Brady Bill in 1993 and an assault weapons ban in 1994. President Ronald Reagan, who had survived a gun assassination attempt, supported both pieces of legislation. Congress allowed the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004.

After innocent children were massacred in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a gunman using an assault weapon, no such ban was enacted. Mass shootings continue to take innocent lives at other schools.

Surviving classmates of Sandy Hook victims graduate from high school this year. Justice or hypocrisy?

- Tom Krause, Kansas City

Who did it

This principle can apply to the two Supreme Court justices using the “My wife did it” excuse:

When Eve took a bite of the apple, her first instinct was not to bake a pie. Nowhere in the Bible have I read of Adam taking personal responsibility for deciding to follow Eve’s lead. When confronted, he quickly blamed her and avoided ownership of his decision. That doesn’t exactly epitomize male leadership.

If we are going to use the Bible to assign gender roles, perhaps honesty needs to be added to the mix about who should do what.

- Marilyn Schaeffer, Kansas City