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Kansas City - Octrober 2011

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Kansas City — Council Adopts Streetcar Route

Rail Transit Online, October 2011

A two-mile (3.2 km) downtown streetcar route linking Union Station and the River Market via Main Street was adopted by the city council on Sept. 29, kicking off a long approval process.

Initial studies have estimated the capital cost at $101 million plus $2.8 million annually to operate. Average weekday ridership would be approximately 2,900 in 2015 and supporters claim the project would help generate $1.2 billion in downtown development over the next 14 years. The next step will be determining if utility relocation would be too difficult and expensive and how to finance construction. Among the options for the latter currently under discussion is a benefit assessments tax on properties along the route and federal funding.

An Alternatives Analysis studied improved bus service along with various streetcar routes but the Main Street option gained overwhelming public support. "For the first time, I really feel like we're going to have a passenger rail route in this city," Councilman John Sharp told The Kansas City Star.


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