Author: krenner

Topeka Metro board votes to waive fares in October

TOPEKA, KANSAS (September 24, 2020) — At the Topeka Metro board of directors meeting September 21st, the board voted to extend the fixed route rear boarding and free fares through October 31st, 2020. Fares will also be waived during this time for the paratransit bus as well as the Flex route bus.

Front door boarding will still be permitted for those with mobility issues needing to use the ramp or kneeler. Safety chains near the bus operator at the front of the bus will remain secured. Passengers are required to wear a face mask when riding the bus. Topeka Metro expects passengers to be responsible and to have their own mask to protect themselves and others. The mask requirement went into effect on Thursday, July 9, 2020 and will be in place until further notice. Bus operators in fixed route buses are not required to wear a face covering while they are in the operator compartment with the safety barrier closed and latched. Face coverings are required at all other times for operators.

Topeka Metro will continue to impose social distancing requirements in the lobby at Quincy Street Station, at bus stops and in the bus waiting areas in the Quincy Street Station lot. Topeka Metro has “ambussadors” who sanitize surfaces inside the buses in-between runs, and inside and outside of the bus station. Topeka Metro continues to deep clean our buses for the six days a week that we operate. 

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501 Students Can Get FREE bus passes to get to school

September 18, 2020 (Topeka, KS) — Parents and students: Did you know that high school and middle school students in USD 501 can obtain a FREE Topeka Metro bus pass from their school office?

USD 501 has purchased Topeka Metro bus passes for students in the district. If a student wants a pass, they must visit their school’s main office to obtain one. Students must show the bus pass when boarding. Passes are good throughout the school year at any time the fixed route buses are running. (Note: French and Jardine Middle schools are not included because of bus routes). Having a bus pass is a sure way to make it to school on time!

Call customer service if you need assistance finding out which bus route to get on at 783-7000. Information is also on our website at topekametro.org.

Topeka Metro receives grant from US Dept of Transportation

WASHINGTON – (AUGUST 11, 2020) – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development – today announced a $4,987,500 grant to the Topeka Metro Transit Authority (MTA) from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s FY2020 Buses and Bus Facilities Grant Program.

“The Topeka Metro Transit Authority works diligently to connect citizens with their community and these federal resources will further support their mission,” said Sen. Moran. “Affordable local transit is important to the economies of our metro areas, and I look forward to continuing my work with local leaders to modernize the Topeka transit system.”

“With the funding we receive from this grant, Topeka Metro will be able to improve our operations by replacing a portion of our aging bus fleet, while also investing in technology to enhance communication with our bus operators,” said Topeka Metro General Manager Bob Nugent. “In addition, we are pleased to once again partner with Evergy to provide improved service in our community.”

The grant will be used to add seven diesel buses to the Topeka MTA’s fleet, provide an electric utility redundant connection to safeguard against electrical failure and install solar-powered signage displays.

Items to Note:

  • Sen. Moran wrote a letter of support for this grant in March.
  • Last year, Topeka MTA received $1.7 million for the purchase of low- and zero-emission buses.

New System Update Goes Into Effect Aug. 9, 2020

TOPEKA, KANSAS (August 5, 2020) — The latest Ride Guides for the Topeka Metro are available this week for passengers who need one. The only changes are time points on the following routes:

  • #2 North Kansas
  • #5 Indiana
  • #7 Washburn
  • #17 West 17th

Be sure to load the DoubleMap app on your phone or on your computer. It’s a real-time bus tracker that will help you find out when and where your bus will arrive or depart.  For the app, you can download it on Apple iTunes or Google Play. For the website, go to https://topekametro.doublemap.com/map

Topeka Metro Bikes program ends July 30, 2020

TOPEKA, KANSAS (July 30, 2020) — At its June 29, 2020 board meeting, the Topeka Metro board of directors made the decision to cease operations of the Topeka Metro Bikes (TMB) bikeshare program effective July 30, 2020.  All bikeshare fees have been eliminated as of July 16, 2020.

We appreciate your loyalty and dedication to using Topeka Metro Bikes. We are proud to have been the first bikeshare program in Kansas, which started in 2015 with 100 bikes and had a total 0f 300 when the program ended.  We are thankful to Capitol Federal for their generous sponsorship and we want to acknowledge our TMB staff who have been dedicated to bikeshare in Topeka.  We know this is a disappointment to many, however, it is our sincere hope that the Topeka community will have another active bike share program again. It was our pleasure to serve you.

For current annual and monthly memberships, we will refund the entire membership fee – $25 for annual and $5 for monthly.  For the pay-as-you-go members, we will refund any credit balances. Please note that the Topeka Metro Bikes website will be de-activated as well as our social media pages.

We request that you return any Topeka Metro bikeshare program bicycle to a Topeka Metro bikeshare program bike rack by July 31, 2020.  You may direct any questions regarding the bikeshare program to Richard Appelhanz at rappelhanz@topekametro.org.

Thank you again and best wishes,

Respectfully,

Robert Nugent
Topeka Metro General Manager
on behalf of Topeka Metro Bikes

Topeka Metro continues efforts to address COVID-19 by waiving fares in August

TOPEKA, KANSAS (July 22, 2020) — At their July 20 meeting, the Topeka Metro board of directors voted unanimously to waive fares and require passengers to use rear door entry through the end of August. Those who ride the fixed buses and require the ramp, or need the bus lowered, may do so through the front entry doors.

The board voted to take this action to continue to protect the health and safety of both our bus operators and bus passengers. These measures will be in place until August 31, 2020.

Passengers are required to wear a face mask when riding the bus. Topeka Metro expects passengers to be responsible and to have their own mask to protect themselves and others. The mask requirement went into effect on Thursday, July 9, 2020 and will be in place until further notice. Topeka Metro also encourages and will impose social distancing requirements in the lobby at Quincy Street Station, at bus stops and in the bus waiting areas in the Quincy Street Station lot.

Masks Required on Topeka Metro Buses

TOPEKA, KANSAS (July 7, 2020) — As of Thursday, July 2, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly signed an executive order effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020, requiring that any person in Kansas shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or other face covering when they are inside, or in line to enter, any indoor public space, waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle, and while outdoors in public spaces and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together).

On Monday, July 6, 2020, the Shawnee County Commission created their own mask mandate for Shawnee County that requires everyone 10 and older to wear facial coverings beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday in indoor and outdoor public places where social distancing cannot be achieved.

In response to these mask mandates, Topeka Metro requires that persons at the Quincy Street Station, and customers riding the bus and waiting at bus stops all wear face masks. Topeka Metro expects passengers to be responsible and to have their own mask to protect themselves and others. The mask requirement will go into effect on Thursday, July 9, 2020. Topeka Metro also encourages and will impose social distancing requirements in the lobby at Quincy Street Station, at bus stops and in the bus waiting areas in the Quincy Street Station lot.

Children under the age of 10-years-old are exempt from the mask requirement. Children under the age of 2-years-old should not wear a mask. Children between the ages of 2 and 10-years-old are encouraged to wear a mask with adult assistance and close supervision. Persons with a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask are exempt from the mask requirement. So are persons who are unconscious, incapacitated or are unable to remove the mask without assistance.

In the governor’s executive order, the definition of “mask or other face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. A mask or other face covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Ideally, a mask or other face covering has two or more layers. A mask or other face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

PROTECT OTHERS – WEAR A MASK. THANK YOU!

Topeka Metro Bikes at Quincy Street Station bike rack

Topeka Metro Bikes program ends July 30, 2020

TOPEKA, KAN. (June 30, 2020) – At its June 29, 2020 board meeting, Topeka Metro board members made the decision to cease operation of the Topeka Metro Bikes (TMB) bikeshare program effective July 30, 2020. A year ago, the board approved creating a community task force to find solutions to continue the bike share program in Topeka, whether it remained with Topeka Metro or not.

Topeka Metro sought cost proposals from bike share companies for operational management and to equip the bikes with more up-to-date tracking technology at a significantly lower cost than in the past. Topeka Metro located a vendor that was willing to take over the maintenance and operations of the program, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a delay in moving forward, then in May, the company said they would no longer be providing bike share services for Topeka Metro.

Topeka Metro and the community task force were not able to find another viable option for Topeka Metro to continue operating the program, and subsequently, the board voted unanimously to end bike operations as of July 30, 2020.

Topeka Metro Bikes began in April 2015. Thank you again, to the TMB members and especially to Capitol Federal, who was a generous sponsor and advocate of the bikeshare program. We also thank the dedicated staff of TMB who have such a passion for bikeshare and cycling in our community.

Topeka Metro continues COVID-19 safety procedures

TOPEKA, KAN. (June 22, 2020) – At the June 19, 2020 Topeka Metro committee meeting, the board of directors voted to extended social distancing measures to help keep bus operators and passengers safe.

Topeka Metro continues to enact safety procedures followed by many transit agencies throughout the country, as well as follow health guidelines from the CDC and local health department to protect customers and employees. This includes requiring rear door entry to the fixed route buses for anyone who does not require the ramp or need the bus lowered. ADA customers can board from the front. Fares are also waived for all fixed route and paratransit buses through the month of July. This will assist with social distancing challenges that bus operators face when working closely with passengers during trips.

Topeka Metro General Manager Bob Nugent said, “Although the stay-at-home order has been removed, we want to remind people that COVID-19 is still active. To help prevent the spread of possible infection, we are asking passengers to wear masks and maintain social distancing whenever possible.”

Nugent added, “We have made every effort to provide solutions to protect the health of our employees and passengers, while continuing the mobility needs of our community. Our #1 priority is safety for all while traveling.”

Topeka Metro launches next phase of bus tracking app

TOPEKA, KAN. (May 13, 2020) — In January of this year, Topeka Metro launched a new real-time bus tracker app that allows passengers to track the location of their bus. The app and website, DoubleMap, has allowed passengers to find their bus, receive important notices, and view the buses in real-time.

The latest feature enables passengers to access arrival estimates via SMS text messaging. The phone number provided on each bus stop sign can also be called from a phone to get arrival information.  Each Topeka Metro bus stop has an assigned specific ID posted, which passengers can send to a designated DoubleMap number for an estimated time of arrival within seconds. This enhances the user experience for the bus passenger and helps reduce customer service calls at Quincy Street Station.

General Manager Robert Nugent said, “We’ve had positive feedback from those who have used the DoubleMap app and website. This latest capability will add a few more tools to allow the passenger to quickly get the information they need when taking the bus.”

The website to access Topeka Metro’s DoubleMap is http://topekametro.doublemap.com/map/. The app can be located in iTunes or Google Play under DoubleMap.