June 30 brought a major community health asset to the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan. The Rosedale 105 connects Rosedale and Argentine residents—many of whom live in a food desert—to one grocery store at each end of the line.
Riders can also access health care at the University of Kansas Medical Center or Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care, exercise opportunities at the Argentine Community Center, the South Branch Library, and employment opportunities at local businesses all along the route.
Bus the Boulevard, the team that advocated for the bus line, came together when Rosedale residents began voicing their concerns about an apartment complex housing 160 families that is isolated from public transit at the top of a very steep hill. Residents reported having little access to grocery stores, places of employment, and medical care and having to walk more than 1.5 miles to the nearest bus stop.
Representatives from Rosedale Development Association, Rainbow Mennonite Church, Rosedale Ridge Apartments, Transit Action Network, and Westwood Christian Church formed Bus the Boulevard, and the group began gathering data about the transportation needs of Rosedale Ridge residents and sharing their results with UG Transit.
In response to the data, UG Transit designed the Rosedale 105 Route, and the UG Commission approved funding for the bus line in August 2013. After a service study, the new route officially opened on June 30, 2014. UG Transit hosted an opening event at Emerson Park on the Western end of the route.
UG Transit provided a bus to carry residents of Rosedale Ridge Apartments to the opening event. Rosedalians turned the event into a parade down the hill that separates Rosedale Ridge from the city, carrying signs reading “I can’t wait to ride the 105!” At the event, speakers from KCATA, the UG Commission, UG Transit, and Rosedale Ridge emphasized the strong role of community advocacy in opening the bus line and the UG’s commitment to multi-modal transportation and healthy lifestyles.
Connie Rideau of Rosedale Ridge shared her role in the advocacy process, saying “I told myself that I would go to every meeting until we got a bus line, and I went to every meeting and now we have a bus line!”
Connie and many other Rosedalians have been riding the bus regularly and are enjoying new access to their healthy community.