KC Streetcar

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KC Streetcar
RideKC Streetcar logo.svg
KC Streetcar (26813012241).jpg
Streetcar 803 leaving Union Station, northbound
Overview
Owner City of Kansas City, Missouri
Locale Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Transit type Streetcar
Number of lines 1[1]
Number of stations 10[2]
Daily ridership 6,800[3]
Website kcstreetcar.org
Operation
Began operation May 6, 2016[4]
Operator(s) Kansas City Streetcar Authority
Character Street running
Number of vehicles 4 CAF Urbos 3 model 100[5]
Technical
System length 2.2 mi (3.5 km)[6]
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V overhead line
Route diagram
to service facility
River Market North Bus interchangeBicycle facilities
3rd & Grand
River Market West
4th & Delaware
City Market
5th & Walnut
North Loop
7th & Main
Library
9th & Main
10th & Main MetroCenter Bus interchange Bicycle facilities
Metro Center
12th & Main
Power & Light
14th & Main
Kauffman Center
16th & Main
Crossroads
19th & Main
Union Station Amtrak Bicycle facilities
Pershing & Main

The KC Streetcar, formally branded as the RideKC Streetcar,[7] is a streetcar system in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.[8] Construction began in May 2014,[9] the system opened for service on May 6, 2016.[4] As of 14 June 2017, the KC Streetcar is free to ride.[citation needed]

Route and stops[edit]

The downtown streetcar runs along a 2.2-mile-long (3.5 km) route[6] between the River Market and Union Station, running through the central business district and the Crossroads, mostly along Main Street. It makes stops about every two blocks.[10] and has 16 designed stops along the route. Along the way it connects directly with Amtrak, local and commuter RIDE KC bus services (including a direct route to Kansas City International Airport), and several B-cycle bike-share kiosks.

Proponents tout this initial linear segment as one of the simplest and straightest modern streetcar routes in the United States. All platforms offer level boarding and real-time arrival information.[11]

Stop In the area
City Market (5th/Walnut) River Market, City Market (south), Arabia Steamboat Museum
River Market North (3rd/Grand) River Market, B-cycle, City Market (northeast), Town of KS bridge, Ride KC 3rd and Grand MetroCenter
River Market West (Delaware) River Market, City Market Park
North Loop (7th/Main) Garment District
Library (9th/Main) Financial District, Library District, Central Library, B-cycle, Commerce Tower, Ride KC 10th and Main MetroCenter
MetroCenter (12th/Main) One Kansas City Place, Town Pavilion, City Center Square, Ride KC Bus and MAX transfer, Power & Light District (north end), Barney Allis Plaza
Power & Light (14th/Main) Power & Light District (south end), Kansas City Convention Center (north end), Municipal Auditorium, Sprint Center, Power & Light tower, One Light, Two Light (future)
Kauffman Center (16th/Main) Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City Convention Center (south end), Crossroads Arts District, New convention hotel (future)
Crossroads (19th/Main) Crossroads Arts District, Freight House, Freight House Pedestrian Bridge
Union Station Amtrak, B-cycle, Crown Center, Penn Valley Park, Pershing Square, Washington Square Park, The Link, Liberty Memorial and National WW1 Museum, National Archives, Freight House Pedestrian Bridge (via The Link), Crown Center hotels

Operating authority[edit]

The streetcar is operated by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, a not-for-profit corporation that is funded by local taxes, the authority was incorporated in August 2012 after voters approved creation of the Kansas City Downtown Transportation Development District,[12] a special taxing district that funds construction and operation of a two-mile route through downtown Kansas City. Legal claims against the district and its taxation power were dismissed in August 2013,[13] the streetcar began construction in May 2014, was completed in fall 2015, and began carrying passengers in service on May 6, 2016.[1]

The Streetcar Authority's 13 directors, a mix of public officials, business people, and transit advocates, were appointed by the City Council and Port Authority in late 2012 and met for the first time as an officially sanctioned body in early 2013,[14] the authority's oversight of the streetcar's operation and maintenance is modeled on that of the Portland Streetcar. The city council has the power to appoint some of the authority's directors and retains ownership over the system.

Day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system is handled by Herzog Transit Services Inc., under joint contract to the Streetcar Authority and the City of Kansas City. The contract was signed in October 2015.[15]

History[edit]

Planning and construction[edit]

Streetcar 804 heading southbound on Main Street

After earlier efforts to create a metro- or citywide rail transit system failed at the ballot box, voters in downtown Kansas City approved funding for a two-mile streetcar line in December 2012.[16]

In December 2012, the city council awarded a contract to HDR, Inc. to complete a final design for the downtown streetcar line.[17] HDR had previously performed preliminary engineering work; in October 2013, the mayor announced that the system will use 100% low-floor Urbos 3 streetcars made by the American subsidiary of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in Elmira Heights, New York.[18] Pre-construction work, utility-relocation work in preparation for the project, began in late 2013, and construction of the line began in May 2014.[9] Construction was completed in late 2015 and testing was performed from December 2015 to May 2016.[1][9]

The projected cost of the Downtown Streetcar is $102,000,000,[19] the majority of funds will come from Special Obligation Bonds of the City of Kansas City, Missouri totaling $63,955,000. Construction bonds and operating costs will repaid by a special assessment and one-cent sales tax collected inside a transportation development district approved by voters in 2012. Both levies will be assessed only within the taxing district, which encompasses downtown neighborhoods along the streetcar route. Additional funding includes a utility contribution and two federal grants totaling $17.1 million.[20] The project received another $20 million federal grant, through the TIGER program, in August 2013.[21] Passengers will ride free of charge.[10] Total construction costs were $250,000 under budget[22] and operations costs are starting out under budget [23]

The streetcars are numbered 801-804, following the numbering set up by the original Kansas City Public Service Company numbering system.[24] Car 801 arrived in Kansas City on November 2, 2015.[25] Testing began on November 6.[26] Car 802 through 804 later arrived between December and April, it was announced in late June 2017 that two more street cars are on order at a cost of $12,000,000. These new units are expected to be delivered in 2018.

Expansion planning[edit]

Expansion planning began in 2014. Two studies covered one line north, crossing the Missouri River and eight lines heading east, west and south from downtown. A ballot item in August 2014 to add three new rail lines and an improved bus line failed at the ballot 40%–60%.[27] A grassroots effort to revisit expansion using the same legal structure as the starter line, is being funded by the private sector,[28] this new expansion would only extend the existing line south to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus along Main Street.

Opening[edit]

Operations on KC Streetcar began on May 6, 2016 at approximately 11 AM, the total opening Friday and Saturday ridership was over 27,000 riders,[29] with the trains traveling 650 miles.[30] The weekend celebration for the streetcars opening included music, a free carnival, fireworks and coordinated specials at businesses. Bus service and bike share service was free to correspond with the launch.

As of August 6, 2016, the KC streetcar has a daily average ridership of 6,822,[31] on October 7, 2016, the KC Streetcar logged its 1,000,000 ride (5 months after opening day). On May 5, 2017, the KC Streetcar logged its 2,000,000 ride.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Kansas City is on the MOVE with the KC Streetcar". KC Streetcar. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  2. ^ "The KC Streetcar Route | Kansas City's Modern Transit Option". KC Streetcar. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  3. ^ "KC Streetcar | Ridership". Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  4. ^ a b Horsley, Lynn (May 6, 2016). "After years of planning, setbacks, hard work, KC celebrates streetcar grand opening". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  5. ^ Alonzo, Austin (January 7, 2014). "KC will send three city staff members to Spain for streetcar workshops". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  6. ^ a b "FAQS [- How long is the downtown streetcar route?]". KC Streetcar. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  7. ^ "KC Streetcar Brand Revealed". KC Streetcar (Press release). KC Streetcar. August 28, 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  8. ^ "Streetcars Are Up To Date In Kansas City". Forbes. June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-27. In December, Residents of Kansas City approved the construction of a two-mile, downtown streetcar line after a mail-in election. 
  9. ^ a b c Horsley, Lynn (May 22, 2014). "KC breaks ground for streetcars — and OKs advance spending on expansion". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  10. ^ a b Hand, Gunnar (January 15, 2013). "Streetcar Renaissance". The Architect's Newspaper. Archpaper.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  11. ^ "How to Ride". KC Streetcar. 
  12. ^ Bender, Jonathan (August 3, 2012). "Kansas City Streetcar Authority is up and running". The Pitch. Kansas City Pitch LLC. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  13. ^ "Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County The Honorable Peggy Stevens McGraw, Judge". The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. August 7, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  14. ^ Alonzo, Austin (January 2, 2013). "Streetcar Authority mulls options in first official meeting". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  15. ^ DVV Media UK. "Herzog Transit Services signs Kansas City Streetcar operating contract". Railway Gazette. 
  16. ^ Alonzo, Austin (December 12, 2012). "Kansas City voters approve streetcar plan". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  17. ^ Alonzo, Austin (December 21, 2012). "Kansas City streetcar’s first stop: Construction plans". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  18. ^ Alonzo, Austin (October 4, 2013). "Spanish firm CAF will supply streetcars". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  19. ^ Horsley, Lynn (July 2, 2015). "Kansas City streetcar costs are comparable to other cities". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  20. ^ Alonzo, Austin (May 22, 2013). "Kansas City streetcar seeks $20 million TIGER grant". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  21. ^ Alonzo, Austin (August 30, 2013). "Kansas City wins $20M federal TIGER grant for streetcar". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  22. ^ "Chris Hernandez". Twitter. 
  23. ^ "kclightrail.com". Twitter. 
  24. ^ "FAQS - KC Streetcar | Cost - Pet Information - Speed - Streetcar Stops". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  25. ^ Horsley, Lynn (November 2, 2015). "First KC streetcar vehicle rolls into town". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  26. ^ Horsley, Lynn (November 6, 2015). "Kansas City streetcar passes first test on downtown tracks". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  27. ^ Horsley, Lynn (August 5, 2014). "Kansas City streetcar plan stopped in its tracks". The Kansas City Star. 
  28. ^ "Midtown/UMKC Streetcar Extension Resources – KCRTA". kcrta.org. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  29. ^ KC Streetcar [@kcstreetcar] (May 8, 2016). "Opening wknd passenger numbers: more than 27,000 riders enjoyed the #kcstreetcar over 2 days" (Tweet). Retrieved 2016-05-08 – via Twitter. 
  30. ^ KC Streetcar [@kcstreetcar] (May 8, 2016). "#kcstreetcar opening weekend fun fact: the fleet traveled nearly 650 miles over two days." (Tweet). Retrieved 2016-05-08 – via Twitter. 
  31. ^ "KC Streetcar | Ridership". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata