People get a look at streetcars that will be

Mayor Sly James on Friday showed a full-size image of what the new streetcars will look like and a mock up of a streetcar stop.

The event in the Crossroads drew a crowd and was coordinated with Better Block KC, a nonprofit group that promotes transit and development.

The streetcar is a URBOS 3 Platform Vehicle, by CAF, a manufacturer with extensive streetcar experience in the United States and abroad.

“This vehicle is innovative, cutting-edge and frosty, just like Kansas City,” the mayor said. “Downtown has undergone an undeniable transformation in the past few years and the streetcar will take that to another level.”

The city streetcar authority will determine the color of the four streetcars. Their total cost is about $20 million and the entire downtown streetcar system is expected to cost about $100 million.

The two-mile system from the River Market to near Union Station is expected to be completed in 2015 at the earliest.

City officials have already started a planning process to run extensions off what they say will be a starter line.

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