Hoops tournament helped KC Streetcar growth in 2018

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Photo: KC Streetcar

KC Streetcar ridership continued to grow steadily in 2018, including its best-ever one-day total since opening in 2016.

Ridership on the fare-free system logged seven straight months of year-over-year monthly growth for a total of 2,114,886 rides, up from 2,060,327 in 2017. The streetcar marked its five-millionth ride in September and its highest one-day ridership on July 6, with 19,181 trips.

The system has totaled more than 5.5 million rides since opening day in May 2016.

“The steady increase in streetcar ridership is a direct reflection of the residential and employment growth downtown,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority. “For every new housing unit built, the KC Streetcar gains another rider. More streetcar riders equal more downtown activity and a direct downtown economic impact.”

In 2018 ridership statistics included:

  • 5,794 average daily ridership
  • 31,009 trips during the Big XII Basketball Tournament in February
  • 33,424 trips during the three-day Labor Day weekend
  • 262,593 trips in July
  • 169,254 trips in December, up 19,000 on-year

The authority plans to add two new Urbos 3 cars from CAF in 2019, growing its fleet to six vehicles, which it expects to decrease waiting times and expand capacity during large-scale downtown events.

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