woman carrying groceries on the bus

Group calls for better bus stops to make grocery shopping easier

The passing of the G.O. Bonds in Kansas City, Missouri is good news to residents and to the KC Grocery Access Task Force.

What’s the connection? G.O. Bond funding will improve access to grocery stores and other healthy food retailers, and even before the election, the task force was eyeing bus stop improvements for the same purpose.

Research has shown that people are more likely to walk, bike or use public transportation to get to their destination—including a grocery store—when conditions are safe and when transportation is accessible and affordable.

But all too often, low-income neighborhoods lack grocery stores and people are less likely to own a vehicle. This means thousands of people must walk to the grocery store or rely on public transportation.

With this in mind, the task force recently took a look at six KCMO bus stops near grocery stores. Working with representatives from Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the group recommended targeted repairs and improvements that would help residents in underserved/low-vehicle-ownership areas do their grocery shopping by city bus.

The recommendations, which include ADA accessibility, crosswalks and safe sidewalks, were submitted to the city manager’s office early this year. These are exactly the types of repairs G.O. Bond would fund, ultimately improving access to healthy, affordable food.

Passage of the G.O. Bond also means a recently adopted resolution will come into play. The week before the bond was approved by KCMO voters, the city council adopted a substitute resolution outlining equitable use of the funding and directing the City Manager to develop and implement a plan for spending funds.

Workplaces, parks, schools and grocery stores have all been discussed as destination points and should be considered when determining use of funds. For our city to thrive, we must make sure everyone has safe sidewalks, crosswalks and bus stops to help them get where they are going.

Convened by the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition, the Grocery Access Task Force consists of nearly 30 experts representing leadership from government, public health, grocery retail, civic, and community and economic development organizations. Together, they have explored barriers to supermarket and grocery store development in underserved neighborhoods.

You can get help planning your trip and planning meals, saving money and finding recipes at Grocery Shop with RideKC.

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