Streetcar committee selects operating company

streetcarThe city’s Streetcar Operations Committee has selected the company it wants to operate the new transit system expected to begin service by the end of 2015.

The committee recommended Herzog Transit Services, Inc. as the preferred vendor for operating and maintaining the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar starter line, according to the city. Herzog Transit Services, Inc., located in St. Joseph, Mo., is a nationally leading provider of rail transit services, operating systems in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas and San Francisco — including many new streetcar lines. A division of Herzog is part of the joint venture that is constructing the downtown streetcar.

“We look forward to having Herzog as part of our team, and working with them to create a great experience for streetcar riders,” said Tom Trabon, chair of the KC Streetcar Authority, said in a press release.

Here’s more from the release:
This milestone recommendation represents the final streetcar-related vendor selection. Herzog Transit Services, Inc. is expected to be responsible for all day-to-day functions related to streetcar operations, including: maintenance of vehicles; inspection and maintenance of the electrical system and tracks; customer service; and managing, hiring and training streetcar staff.

“Herzog Transit Services, Inc. is excited to be selected as the operations and maintenance contractor of the Kansas City Streetcar,” said Robert J. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Herzog Transit Services, Inc. “With Herzog’s corporate headquarters in the Kansas City area, we are especially proud of the community for the effort put into and the progress already made to re-establish streetcars in Kansas City. We look forward to providing a safe, reliable and customer-driven streetcar service.”

The Streetcar Operations Committee comprises representatives from the City of Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City Streetcar Authority, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Mid-America Regional Council and the Downtown Council.

The Streetcar Operations Committee, subject to approval by the City and the Streetcar Authority board, will negotiate a contract with Herzog Transit Services. Once a Notice To Proceed is given, Herzog Transit Services is expected to begin consulting on remaining construction activities and develop standard operating procedures. Next, Herzog is expected to hire streetcar operators, assist with vehicle delivery and testing, and fulfill required federal and state safety certifications. Herzog’s contract term is anticipated to last five years with an option to renew.

Once complete, the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar starter line will include a two-mile streetcar route along Main Street, connecting the River Market neighborhood to Union Station. It will serve the City’s Central Business District, the Crossroads Art District and the Power and Light District, in addition to numerous other businesses, restaurants, art galleries, educational facilities and residential areas.

Construction will take approximately 18 months and will create hundreds of local jobs. The completion of the KC Downtown Streetcar starter line project is anticipated in fall of 2015 followed by a period of testing. It is expected that by the end of 2015 the first streetcar rides will occur through Downtown Kansas City in more than a half a century.

More information about the Kansas City Streetcar

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