Streetcar expansion takes shape

streetcarA city council resolution introduced Thursday would launch the next phase of the streetcar line.

If approved by the full council, it would start a court process that could lead to an August election on whether to form the district.

Experts are now studying where to extend the downtown two-mile starter line by up to 10 miles.

Options include: Main Street to at least 51st Street and possibly along the Trolley Track right-of-way to as far as 85th Street, and to run sections east off Main at Independence Avenue and at either Linwood or 31st Street.

The district would also fund a Max bus line on Prospect.

Boundaries of the transportation district are not set but officials have said they are likely to be from State Line to 435 and from the Missouri River to possibly 85th Street.

People who live there would vote on whether to approve the district as early as August and probably later in the fall on whether to approve tax increases for it.

If approved, an additional 1-cent sales tax (except for within the existing downtown district) would apply within the new district and a special assessment would increase property taxes for those up to a half-mile on either side of the new streetcar tracks.

Federal funds are expected to pay for at least 40 percent of the project.

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