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Old 12-12-2012, 03:57 PM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,149,330 times
Reputation: 1916

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KC passed plan for a streetcar line.

Decades of near misses and outright failures culminated in a plan for 2.2 mile starter line serving KC's downtown, from the River Market on the north end of downtown to Crown Center and Union Station on the cusp of midtown. Service is scheduled to begin in 2015.


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Old 12-12-2012, 04:40 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,112,940 times
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Great addition for downtown, will tie together most of the key areas downtown.. They hope to start construction next year so I guess it doesn't need any Fed funding, not sure. Will tie in nicely with the 12 bike rental stations downtown, which BTW is expanding to midtown/Plaza next year and bike paths have been funded if I understand right.

Frankly I'd be fine with a free/25cent downtown circulator bus but understand this needs to get kickstarted. Future expansion to Plaza may happen but I don't know if service would be any better than the existing Orange MAX bus line, which already runs every 10min and controls street lights to some degree. Off board fare is all it needs. Still nice to see this momentum.

KC transit moving forward slowly but surely. Commuter rail from burbs is still in works but still just talks/studies at this point. Hard to pull off when KC freight rail traffic is among busiest in country.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,516,721 times
Reputation: 5415
That downtowner bus was a joke and had about ten riders a day. No kidding. Downtown was not as vibrant back then, but there is only so much you can do running a little bus around every 20 minutes.

This is a very expensive project and has some risk, mostly because it's increasing an already very high sales tax, but I think it's worth it and will be only the beginning of a much larger and comprehensive streetcar system.

I personally think a well planned and implemented streetcar system will do more for urban development than the more intrusive and expensive light rail. It has worked well in Portland. Streetcars are at a scale that just works and people want to live near them. That’s not always the case with light rail.

KC has got to get more lines up and running and get this one extended into midtown and the plaza though asap and they need to find a way to fund transit via the entire county (Jackson County, the only place in metro KC where any sort of rail makes sense).

Nice work KCMO though. This was the only way to get something going. They had to get creative and they got it done. People will be wanting to expand it before it opens and hopefully this will speed up the Jackson County commuter lines. Maybe that tax next year will fund more streetcars as well as the suburban lines. They will need to do something like that to get a county wide yes vote.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,230,688 times
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I wasn't surprised by the vote, but I am very excited about it. This will be great for KC.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:47 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,112,940 times
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It will also be completely free to use. They said it would cost too much to deal with fare box and maintenance.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:58 PM
 
99 posts, read 193,865 times
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They just didn't stop til they got a foot in the door. The area that was allowed to vote, what a joke. It will end up being yet another drain on KC. We have cars here and drive them. It's not like this is NYC where I know several folks that not only don't have cars but never have had. Ask the folks in Lawrence about how the whole bus system has worked out for them. I have a friend at the KC Zoo that says the bus that stops there normally has zero riders coming or going.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:31 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,112,940 times
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You cant base that on one low used line. MAX use through downtown/midtown went up 50% first year and about 10% increase per year since. They bumped up service to 10min all day, 15 at night. Is standing room often at rush hours. Overall metro bus usage is up significantly compared to 10 years ago, but some areas still very low use, IE not many live near zoo and that site is a car destination. Downtown population has more than doubled and has visitor traffic.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,204,472 times
Reputation: 2549
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer56 View Post
They just didn't stop til they got a foot in the door. The area that was allowed to vote, what a joke. It will end up being yet another drain on KC. We have cars here and drive them. It's not like this is NYC where I know several folks that not only don't have cars but never have had. Ask the folks in Lawrence about how the whole bus system has worked out for them. I have a friend at the KC Zoo that says the bus that stops there normally has zero riders coming or going.
I can't help your limited perspective....

But being that enough people support these type of things and that success has been had in other cities, don't you think maybe there is something you're missing?
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:39 PM
 
33 posts, read 43,873 times
Reputation: 30
Very hapy to hear it. Took some visiting friends to the top of the city hall, and our security/guide mentioned it. I figured it was just wishful thinking, so having it pass is in my opinion fantastic.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:13 PM
 
30 posts, read 70,502 times
Reputation: 39
I think this is very EXCITING! The project is only in the planning stages, and I'm already looking forward to it's completion. It looks like I'll be moving to Kansas City, MO very very soon. This time, I don't plan on moving away (let's just say, I've been more of a "nomad" in the last few years), which means I'll definitely be around when the street car is completed and running.
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