Downtown Overland Park -- Yes, Virginia, there IS a Downtown Overland
Park -- is a great destination for Transit Trips from The Plaza (or
from other points in Missouri) via Johnson County Transit Route
The Clock Tower, shown here, is located between 79th and 80th on Santa Fe Drive, and is surrounded by a pleasantly surprising array of shops and local restaurants. Beyond the Clock Tower is the Overland Park Farmers Market, which is active on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
[ Transit Trip 1 - Dragon Inn Restaurant. ] On this particular day we boarded a Route 856 bus at the Plaza Tennis Courts at 1:41 and arrived at the Farmers Market stop about 2:15. A short walk away we found the Dragon Inn Chinese Restaurant near 80th and Santa Fe Drive where we had over an hour to enjoy a leisurely lunch for under $10. We boarded a Route 556 bus at 3:32 for the trip back to The Plaza. Total time, about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Fare Information: JCT cash fare is $2.00 each way. If you begin your trip on a Metro bus (fare $1.50), ask for a transfer and use it to board the JCT bus for the trip to DTOP, then pay the $2.00 cash fare for your return. (If you can prove that you're 65 or over you can ask for the Senior Fare on the JCT bus, $1.50.) And, of course, if it's an Ozone Alert Day, fares on both both systems are 75 cents each way.
You may have read that Johnson County Transit anticipates service
reductions beginning in January, 2013. Route 556/856 is going to
survive the cuts because it is the heart of the "CONNEX" bus
rapid transit route for which shelters, benches, sidewalks, and other
"passenger amenities" are being installed along Metcalf and
Shawnee Mission Parkway. These improvements are financed by a Federal
TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) grant
that Johnson County received in 2010.