Next round of streetcar planning kicks off August 8

The city is inviting the public to the kickoff for the next phase of planning for potential streetcar routes.

The study will evaluate the potential for adding streetcar routes on 7 corridors including two in Midtown: Main Street from Union Station to UMKC and 31st Street/Linwood Boulevard east of Main.

Here’s more from the city’s press release:

(Disclosure: The Midtown KC Post’s Mary Jo Draper is part of the project team for this project).

The City of Kansas City announces that a public kick-off event for the Phase II Streetcar/Light Rail Expansion Analysis will be held on Thursday, August 8 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Union Station. The planning project, entitled “Next Rail KC,” has been contracted to the Kansas City-based team of BNIM, HNTB and HDR with other local consultants, and will be completed in March 2014. Funding for Next Rail KC comes from the Third and Fourth Council Districts’ In-District PIAC funds .

“Expanding the Downtown Streetcar starter line is imperative to solidifying Kansas City as a first-class city with first-class amenities,” said Mayor Sly James. “As a community, we must make the strategic investments needed for the future. A citywide streetcar system is the type of innovation we need to grow our economic base, enhance the quality of life for our citizens, and lead in this region,”

The plan will evaluate the potential for a fixed rail transit system on 7 corridors, including Independence Avenue, Southwest Boulevard, 12th Street east of Main, 12th Street west of Main, 18th Street east of Main, 31st Street/Linwood Boulevard east of Main and Main Street from Union Station to UMKC. Along each corridor, the Project Team will focus on facilitating community input and developing potential economic development impacts, engineering studies and financial constraints.

“I am very supportive of expanding the streetcar system with the goal of it becoming a citywide system,” said Fourth District Councilman Jim Glover. “I think it will be one of the principle factors in helping to revitalize Kansas City.”

“This is the start of the public conversation to discern if certain Kansas City corridors can support a streetcar line,” said Third District Councilmember Jermaine Reed. “This project has the potential to not only improve mobility and transportation throughout our city, but create opportunities for positive neighborhood transformation and dramatically alter the prospects of communities along those routes,” continued Reed.

“The selection of appropriate corridors for streetcar expansion is a vital component in maximizing its economic benefit. I encourage all to participate in this important process,”FourthDistrict Councilwoman Jan Marcason said.

“The City has created this opportunity for neighborhoods throughout the urban core to focus on reconnecting important job centers, retail nodes and other community assets,” said Vincent Gauthier, AICP, BNIM Director of Planning and Next Rail team leader. “This 21st century system has the ability to be truly transformative — just as the original Streetcar layout was many years ago — with these corridors serving as the foundation for this next success.”


  • The public kick-off event for the Phase II Streetcar/Light Rail Expansion Analysis will be held on Thursday, August 8 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Union Station in the Chamber Board Room.
  • The event will begin with an introduction by Mayor Sly James and Members of the City Council followed by an overview of the project by BNIM. Immediately following, a dynamic public engagement exercise will focus on the community’s goals and aspirations for the project. The Project Team will facilitate a discussion with the public, elected officials and other stakeholders by working with a scaled, interactive model of the entire project.


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