More plan details…

Prime Buzz has a good recap of the operational and cost details from this week’s light rail presentations to the City Council. We’ve added a few more details that were mentioned that didn’t make their post:

– The new 3/8-cent tax would be exempt from TIF.
– Operation would not require any general fund support.
– Construction would not require the city to issue or back any of the project’s debt.
– Cost estimates represent the 5-10% design level.
– Project costs include construction of a BRT line on Prospect (so by the time construction is complete the line will be fed by at least three BRT lines — State, Troost, and Prospect avenues).
– Locations for a 15-acre maintenance facility have been scouted, but no final decisions made.
– Platforms will be limited to hosting 2-car trains, so any increase in capacity would require shorter headways (not longer trains).
– North Kansas City has indicated they may synchronize their sales tax vote with KCMO.
– Ridership estimates will be available prior to the November vote.
– The Downtown Council was present to confirm their support for the project.

No indication of when any of this information will be formally released to the public or even when it will appear on the KCATA light rail website (which hasn’t been updated since April?).


7 Comments so far

  1. The Overhead Wire July 18th, 2008 5:26 pm

    Why would you keep your platforms limited like that? That is super short sighted, especially from an operational cost standpoint. If the line becomes popular, wouldn’t you want that extra flexibility, especially at rush hours?

  2. Dave July 18th, 2008 6:34 pm

    the transit operator’s general manager said something about not wanting long trains in the middle of the city (some blocks are too short, perhaps?). it certainly seems too early to rule out without a final vehicle selection.

    regardless, we’ve always advocated forward-thinking (versus the “modern streetcar” on the cheap) for the initial spine. we’ll definitely be asking for more details at the public meetings next month.

  3. northlander July 19th, 2008 9:46 pm

    So what is the big deal of Light Rail over Modern Streetcars? We could do 3-4 times the miles with streetcars,have streetcars up and running in three years and not have to tear up Grand Blvd.Just look at Portland they work just fine.

  4. Dave July 20th, 2008 9:45 am

    for the hundredth time: portland’s streetcar system is an **urban circulator loop**. portland has full light rail carrying far more commuters into the city, which is the style of system being proposed for KC. if we were just talking about serving the downtown loop, then modern streetcars might be appropriate.

    if you ever decided to lengthen the platforms in the future, you’d have to tear up the streets anyway to accommodate heavier trains, which would be far more disruptive.

    again, KC voters were polled and it was loud and clear: don’t do this on the cheap.

  5. Max July 21st, 2008 12:39 pm

    “– Operation would not require any general fund support.”

    So, what would operation be funded by?

  6. Dave July 21st, 2008 12:46 pm

    operations would be funded by a new 3/8-cent sales tax that will appear before voters on the november ballot.

  7. Max July 22nd, 2008 9:47 am

    Oh yea, duh.