Greater Kansas City
The Kansas City team implemented The Connect KC, a platform to raise awareness for, and connect youth to, transit options for out of school opportunities.
Out-of-school- time (OST) opportunities that support youth in developing workforce readiness and in cultivating occupational identities are inequitably distributed. Underrepresented youth are further disadvantaged by limited access to transportation options. At least 60% of youth trips to OST opportunities happen with personal vehicles and rides from family members. By shifting youth transportation mode choices toward shared-mode options, The Connect KC promotes accessibility and reduces energy consumption.
The team engaged with stakeholders, students, and parents to identify mobility options that can best serve students to attend OST opportunities. Transit services, as well as a micro-transit operator (zTrip), were included as options.
The team developed a mobile application that provides awareness of, and access to, OST opportunities. The team worked closely with students and implemented an iterative process to improve the design and user experience based on feedback received. The app also includes behavioral incentives to encourage app use.
In the summer of 2022, the team launched a test of the app with a small number of students. The full- scale pilot was launched in the summer of 2023 (June 5 through July 28), with approximately 140 students from various schools in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. The students use the app to identify a gamut of out-of-school time opportunities, such as internships, art, design, science, etc. events. The team is working closely with mobility providers to improve the quality of transportation services. After has finalized finalizing the large-scale pilot, the team will assessing its impact on mobility and accessibility of underrepresented youth, and will further workworked with mobility providers to further improve their services for this target group.