Independence plans to enhance a number of the busiest bus stops in the city next year, thanks to funds from the Mid-America Regional Council.

MARC awarded the city $150,000 in Surface Transportation Program grant funds, to be used for concrete bus pads at existing IndeBus stops and some ADA ramps and sidewalk accessibility.

“We're adding concrete pads so people are not waiting in the dirt, and in some places we have to add sidewalk or add a ramp to make it ADA compliant, based on slope and accessibility,” said Tom Scannell, community development director.

“It's not a lot (of money), but it's something we think we can do some good with.”

City staff consulted with First Transit – which operates IndeBus – and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and to help identify bus stops with high numbers of passengers boarding and deboarding. From there, the staff figured up to 20 stops that can be enhanced, some of them in conjunction with future planned sidewalk-and-curb projects along sections of U.S. 24 and U.S. 40.

The locations, some of which have bus stops on both sides of a street, run mostly along four main corridors in Independence – 23rd Street, Noland Road, U.S. 24 and U.S. 40.

On 23rd Street:

• Scott Avenue by Aldi (both sides)

• Dodgion by QuikTrip, just east of Noland (both sides)

• Lee's Summit Road (northeast corner)

• Swope Drive by Comprehensive Mental Health (both sides)

On Noland Road:

• 35th Street by Walmart Neighborhood Market

• Partridge Avenue (east side)

On U.S. 24:

• Spring Street in front of Mid-Continent Public Library (both sides)

• River Boulevard (both sides)

• Lee's Summit Road (south side)

On U.S. 40

• West of Crysler Avenue (south side)

• Blue Ridge Boulevard (north side)

Other stops to be enhanced:

• Pleasant Street south of Kansas Avenue by Pleasant Heights (both sides)

• Cedar and Lexington avenues by Fairmount Community Center

• 39th Street and Bolger Road by Wal-Mart

City staff will work with First Transit to cull some feedback from riders, Scannell said, making use of the fact that drivers have developed a rapport with some regular riders. Scannell said the city will be working with KCATA, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration through the fall during the design and review process, with construction slated for the spring of 2018.