Funding from Buses?
The Kansas City Star reports that the $2 million annual contribution that Kansas City promises to make to operating the new streetcar system will be diverted from the city's bus system. Bus advocates thought more money, not less, would be coming to buses given increasing ridership, averaging more than 50,000 daily riders in 2012. The Area Transportation Authority is now drawing reserves to support bus service, a measure that can not continue indefinitely.
Both bus advocates and the transit agency support the streetcar line, but want funding to come from another source.
Next Phase to be Studied
City officials indicated that proposals will be solicited for a Phase II Streetcar Study according to the Kansas City Business Journal. The 2.2 initial stretch of the line will follow Main Street from the City Market to Union Station. Extensions could include running further down Main Steet. Other options could include Independence Avenue and Southwest Boulevard.