In 2013, Johnson County Transit launched The JO Connex on the Metcalf and Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor. The JO Connex is a modification of the previous Route 556 – Metcalf-Plaza and utilizes new transit infrastructure along the corridor, including the new Mission Transit Center located at 5251 Johnson Drive.
The JO Connex will provide faster and more direct service due to:
- Only stopping at designated locations
- Streamlined route alignment
- Use of Transit Signal Priority along the corridor
- Use of “Queue Jumps” at 75th Street and 110th Street
The JO Connex will feature a dramatically improved passenger experience due to:
- New Bus Rapid Transit-style buses
- New Mission Transit Center to facilitate transfers to and from other JO routes
- New transit stations at the Rosana Square Park & Ride and at major destinations along the corridor. Most stations will include benches, shelters, and other amenities.
- Route information kiosks with real-time electronic signage that displays the estimated arrival time of the next bus based on the actual location of the bus and projected travel time
- Improved pedestrian access
- Trail improvements at or near bus stops from 87th Street to 105th Street.
These improvements are the result of the Kansas City Regional TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Award that is funding transit, trail, and pedestrian infrastructure improvements throughout the region. This project was supported by recent planning efforts of Johnson County Transit, the City of Overland Park, and the City of Mission.
The JO Connex – like the existing Route 556/856 – will operate from 119th & Metcalf in Overland Park to the County Club Plaza, Troost, and UMKC in Kansas City, Missouri. Some trips extend further south to 137th Street. Buses will operate approximately every 30 minutes in both directions during rush hours (roughly 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Buses will run approximately every hour during midday hours.
Mission Transit Center - The Mission Transit Center at 5251 Johnson Drive in downtown Mission, Kansas replaced JCT’s former transfer facility at 6000 Lamar. The new transit center has six bays for buses to load and unload passengers—with room for two additional buses if needed—and provide improved comfort and convenience for passengers.
New Transit Stations - In addition to the transit center, new transit stations have been completed along Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park and along Martway Street and Johnson Drive in Mission. Different stations will have different amenities, but include benches, shelters, route information kiosks, real-time signage, bicycle racks, trash receptacles, landscaping, and improved pedestrian and bicycle access.
Transit Signal Priority - Traffic signals along the route have been programmed so that The JO Connex buses are able to receive an early or extended green light at intersections if the bus is running behind schedule. This system provides improved efficiency and reliability for passengers and builds on the other improvements along the route.
Queue Jumps - The JO Connex will also utilize “queue jumps” at 75th Street (northbound and southbound) and 110th Street (northbound only). At these intersections, a specialized bus signal will allow buses to pull up to the intersection in the right-turn lane and “jump” ahead of traffic while all other signals are red. See video below for an example on how this works.