Metro Bus Riders Make Case for More Funding

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Barbara Dewberry stood before the audience and described how she leaves her home in southeast Kansas City as early as 5 a.m. just to get to her job on time at 8 o’clock in Kansas City, Kansas.

Dewberry is just one of several metro bus riders concerned over possible future cuts in service who shared their personal stories to room filled with community clergy members, lawmakers and fellow city bus riders.

MORE2, which stands for Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, organized the gathering Thursday night at the Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church at 2801 Swope Parkway.

The organization’s goal is to work with local members of congress to pass a federal transportation bill to help fund the operating costs of metro bus service.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act is set to expire in September. The act guarantees funding for federal highways, highway safety and public transportation.

Metro bus riders already took a hit earlier this summer following cuts to services.

The cuts not only made the ride to work more difficult for people like Barbara Dewberry, but more expensive.

"I pay 17 dollars each way to work now which makes me pay 680 dollars a month, over half of my monthly take home pay," Dewberry told the audience.

Organizers say they are hopeful to receive more congressional support in the coming days.

They plan to meet with local members of congress within the next six months. They are also planning a rally in Washington D.C. in September.