Buses to and from Kansas City Airport (MCI)
Kansas City International Airport is located 15 miles from the downtown area of Kansas City, and is a fairly large airport served by several well-known airline companies. Southwest Airlines is the main carrier present, but many flights are also offered by Delta Air Lines. It is an airport in the American state of Missouri, and consists of three terminals and three runways that handle over ten million passengers every year. The Kansas City International Airport buses are one of the most convenient ways to travel to or from the airport, and are certainly the most cost-efficient. While there are taxis available, many passengers prefer to simply ride the bus, and to save a few dollars.
This American airport consists of three terminal buildings referred to as Terminals A, B and C. They are decentralized terminals, which means that there is no central terminal at the airport. Each of the buildings contain their own facilities, such as check-in counters, baggage claim halls and airline departure gates. The terminal of arrival or departure will mainly depend on the airline company with which the passenger is flying, and the origin/destination of the flight, i.e. if it is a domestic or an international flight. There are ninety airline gates at the airport, although not all are currently in use. All terminal buildings are also equipped with a ground transportation area outside of their lower levels, from where buses and taxis are available. There are no train stations at the airport. Buses play an important role for transport into the city, and also on the airport grounds, for transport between the terminals, between the terminals and economy car parks and between the terminals and the new rental car centre. Besides public bus services, there are also a number of private shuttle companies that provide a convenient option for transport.
Buses – On-site
Buses that provide transport on the airport’s property are all colour-coded for the convenience of passengers. The buses available for transport between the terminals are red, and their shuttle stops are indicated by signage that reads ‘Red Inter-Terminal Connection’. There are stops outside of each terminal, and the buses are available every few minutes. Although in the past passengers were expected to pay a small fee to ride these buses, the airport now offers them free of charge as there were many complaints about this. There are no people mover trains at this airport, therefore the buses are the only way to transfer between buildings. A transfer will really only be required if a second flight is departing from a different terminal, as all terminals have many facilities for their passengers, as well as options for ground transportation.
While a number of parking spaces are close by to the terminals, a few are located at a distance, and airport shuttles are used for transport. These buses are blue in colour, and are also available from each terminal. There are blue bus stops on the curbs outside the terminals which are marked with overhead signs, and the buses load passengers about every ten minutes. The shuttles to the new consolidated rental car facility that was completed in 2007 are grey in colour, and have signage along their sides that read ‘Rental Car Shuttle Bus’. They may only stop at marked shelters at the terminal medians. Passengers will find a rental car shuttle available every two to five minutes outside of their terminal.
Public bus services
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is the company that manages the public transportation system of Kansas City, and provides a very affordable way to move around the city. Although currently there is no light rail system in place, there are many buses that provide a way to travel to all areas of the city. In the past a proposal was put forward for a light rail line from the airport to the Kansas City Zoo, passing Swope Park and the Starlight Theatre Kansas City, but the idea was repealed by the City Council. For now, airport passengers will have to make do with the public buses that are available.
Route 129x is the bus that runs between Kansas City International Airport and the downtown bus centre, where further buses are available for travel to other parts of the city. There are also a number of intermediate stops along the way. The journey will take between twenty minutes and half an hour, depending on traffic conditions and the number of stops the bus is required to make. The buses run on weekdays between 06:00am and 06:00pm, making about twenty-five trips per day. There is no regular weekend service, but if a bus is required on a Saturday or Sunday, passengers may call the company and arrange a service. The public buses of the airport are only available from Terminal C, therefore passengers arriving at Terminals A or B will use the Red buses to transfer to Terminal C and the bus stops.
A trip by public bus will cost just $1.50, and this fare is also valid for two hours after its purchase. Time is therefore available to take a second bus from the city. Reduced fares are available for seniors, youths and persons with disabilities who hold a Metro reduced farecard or Medicard. Passengers can purchase a ticket in cash, but must preferably have the correct amount in change. If change is required, passengers should inform the driver before inserting their money into the farebox, and the driver can then issue a change card. Passengers may also use a Monthly Bus Pass on the airport bus.
A number of private shuttles are available from the airport. They may require a reservation for their service, and may travel to only certain areas. They often have a convenient door-to-door service, that is useful for departing passengers as well. A few of the shuttles and their contact details are as follows: Agenda USA (913-268-4466), Aero Shuttle Express (816-839-1148), Best Express Shuttle (866-838-1419), Elite Shuttle of Kansas City (816-912-2023), 5 Guys Transportation (913-748-5423), Ground Transportation, Inc. (888-467-3729) and Quicksilver Airport Service (913-262-0905).
Contact a private shuttle for more information, or find out further details regarding the Kansas City International Airport buses (public) at http://www.kcata.org. Telephone number – 816-221-0660.