KC Streetcar slated for May start-up

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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In Kansas City, Mo., the two-mile, $102 million KC Streetcar (also know as RideKC Streetcar) will begin revenue service May 6, 2016. It operates through the heart of downtown, connecting the city’s River Market; Central Business District; Crossroads Arts District, Union Station and Crown Center neighborhoods.

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority, a not-for-profit organization incorporated in August 2012 after voters approved creation of the Kansas City Downtown Transportation Development District, built the system and has oversight of operations and maintenance. Herzog Transit Services Inc., under a joint contract signed in October 2015 with the Authority and the City of Kansas City, will operate the new line with four streetcars supplied by CAF. The vehicles are numbered 801-804, following the numbering system established by the Kansas City Public Service Company, which operated the city’s original streetcars. Service will be provided at no charge to riders.

Most KC Streetcar funding came from $63.96 million in Special Obligation Bonds issued by the City of Kansas City. Construction bonds and operating costs will repaid over 25 years by a special assessment and one-cent sales tax collected inside the Downtown Transportation Development District. Both levies will be assessed only within the taxing district. Additional funding includes a utility contribution and two federal grants totaling $17.1 million. The project received a $20 million federal TIGER grant in August 2013.[

“For many Kansas Citians, this day is long in the making,” said Mike Hagedorn, Chairman of the KC Streetcar Authority and President and CEO of UMB Bank. “[May 6] will not only be a time to celebrate the KC Streetcar but to also celebrate the people, businesses and landmarks that make downtown so wonderful.”

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