Kansas City — Transit Study Grant Awarded
Rail Transit Online, January 2011
A commuter rail route from suburban eastern Jackson County into Kansas City and a downtown streetcar line will be studied under
a $1.8-million federal grant awarded to the Mid-America Regional Council. The planning grant was one of the largest of 23 handed out
by the FTA to help communities determine the best mode for proposed transit systems. The commuter line would link Kansas City Union Station with Independence and Blue Springs along Interstate 70, plus a spur to Raytown and Lee's Summit, while the modern streetcar would connect the River Market to Union Station.
'This is a very important victory for transit," Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders
told The Kansas City Star. 'This is a critical, necessary and important step to moving this project forward and receiving more federal dollars." The DMU-operated Lee's Summit route is seen as the most promising of six corridors totaling 135 mi. (217.2 km) radiating out of Union Station that have been suggested by Sanders.
Some $17 million, mostly federal money,
has been spent on rail studies over the past 18 years but none of the schemes has ever progressed beyond the planning stage. Sanders says this time it could be different. 'This just isn't a line and service to an area of Kansas City," he told The Kansas City Star. 'This has the potential to transform the way the Kansas City area commutes and works."