Kansas City (Missouri) Street Car’s $351 million Main Street Extension Project is taking a major step forward.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has notified the Congressional authorizing and appropriating committees of its intention to execute a $174 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the city of Kansas City under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA) reported. The FFGA will cover the 3.48-route-mile extension’s design and construction.
The notification to Congress represents “a significant milestone in a multi-year-long process and signifies the start of the legally required 30-day public review period before the grant package can be signed and executed,” KCSA said. Acceptance and signing is expected in early January 2021.
The extension will run south from the existing terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City, connecting two of the largest employment centers in the region, Central Business District and Plaza. It includes 15 new stop platforms at nine stations, eight of which will be new (see map below).
In August, FTA allocated $50.8 million in fiscal year 2020 CIG funds—now included in the total FFGA—to the project, which was in the engineering phase of the CIG program. In 2018, KCSA, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the city of Kansas City submitted a formal application to the FTA for the New Starts CIG Program.
The remaining project funding will come from a new local source that was approved by voters in 2018 with the establishment of the Main Street Rail Transportation District.
To date, work has included project development; identification of track and station stop locations; coordination of utility relocation, including water and sewer lines; solicitation of proposals for streetcar vehicle procurement; construction general management; and public outreach.
Construction is slated to begin in late 2021 or early 2022, with service starting in 2025.
“This financial investment by the federal government reflects the credibility of the entire RideKC regional network,” KCATA President and CEO Robbie Makinen said. “The KC Streetcar Main Street Extension will be a catalyst to bringing equity in transit and spurring development, especially in a post-pandemic environment.”