Monday, January 08, 2018

FTA approval advances KC Streetcar extension to development phase

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The FTA has authorized the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project to move into the project development phase. The FTA has authorized the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project to move into the project development phase. File photo

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has given official authorization to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) as well as the City of Kansas City, Mo., (KCMO) to move the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project into the project development phase.



Officials said this will allow details of the project to be developed, such as establishing a refined capital and operating costs, estimating ridership and other benefits, evaluating environmental impacts and developing a detailed funding plan for the streetcar extension.

This next phase also includes work being done now by a team of consultants led by HDR, Inc. that is jointly funded by the KCSA and KCATA.

"We are thrilled to work with the KCSA, Kansas City, Missouri, the recently formed Transportation Development District and the community to move this project forward," said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president and CEO. "An extension of the KC Streetcar south is an important part of the region's plan for improved service and we're looking forward to making it a reality."

Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority, said KC Streetcar's downtown starter line has "proven its worth."

"This southern extension will further strengthen our investment while connecting our most dense neighborhoods and business centers in a new and exciting way," Gerend said. "We thank KCATA for their support."

Receiving the FTA's authorization is an important step if federal funding should be secured for the extension, notes KCATA's Richard Jarrold, senior vice president of strategic planning and economic development.

"While it is not a commitment of federal funds, it is the U.S. Department of Transportation's recognition of the streetcar extension project; and, it places Kansas City's streetcar extension on their list of projects that could be considered for future funding," Jarrold said.

This phase of the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project will focus on:

  • Data collection (utilities, current conditions, etc.)
  • Refining alignment details (curb-running / center-running)
  • Station stop locations and terminus configuration
  • Plan for coordinated regional transit service integration
  • Updated cost estimates
  • Initiation of the federal rating and funding process

The KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project is intended to further develop the downtown streetcar service and will support work required to advance the southern extension.