TransitKC

Final streetcar report recap

A draft version of the final downtown streetcar report has been posted here. The project is now ready to move into engineering. Here are some of the report’s highlights:

  • Modern streetcar, electrified by overhead catenary wires and running primarily on Main Street, between River Market and Crown Center/Union Station (2.11 miles).
  • Other than Main Street, vehicles will travel on Grand between 3rd and 5th; on 5th between Grand and Delaware; on Delaware between 5th and 7th (where Delaware turns into Main), then on Pershing between Main and Grand.
  • Estimated operating hours are 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Three vehicles would provide peak headways of 11 minutes (with 22 minute headways on Sundays and after 9 p.m. on weekdays).
  • Vehicles will operate in median lanes from Pershing Road to 14th Street, then run in curb lanes between 14th and 9th streets (eliminating the dysfunctional on-street parking that co-exists with a bus lane).
  • Construction will take an estimated two years after design and engineering are complete; majority of disruption will occur within the right-of-way and not for the entire two year period along the entire route.
  • No property acquisition required for the route, but parcels may be acquired for a maintenance facility.
  • Communication utilities (AT&T/Verizon) would be most impacted by construction; Main Street has very few water, sanitary sewer, or gas lines.
  • Capital construction cost is $101 million. Annual operating cost is $3.2 million.
  • Funding will be a mix of fares, $2 million in City funds (mix of PIAC and TIF), up to $25 million in Federal grants, and $73 million generated by a new Transportation Development District over 25 years. No money will be diverted from existing KCATA operating funds.
  • Daily ridership forecast for opening year (2015) is 2,896. By 2035, daily ridership is estimated at 6,023. By comparison, Main Street MAX carries around 4,000 riders between River Market and Waldo.
  • Acres of parking within 1/4 mile of proposed stations: 105 (surface) and 53.2 (structured). Surface lots are strong candidates for redevelopment.
  • Noise and vibration are similar to existing city buses.
  • Connections to other transit services will be available at 3rd & Grand (city bus, Megabus), 10th & Main (city bus), and Union Station (Amtrak, regional rail).

Twelve stations are recommended for the following locations (about every 2 blocks):

  • 3rd & Grand (northern terminus and existing KCATA park & ride)
  • City Market (on 5th at Walnut)
  • River Market West (on Delaware at Independence Avenue)
  • North Loop (on Main at 8th)
  • Financial District (on Main at 10th, adjacent to the KCATA transit center)
  • Convention Center/Power & Light (on Main at 14th)
  • Kauffman Center (on Main at 16th)
  • Crossroads (on Main at 18th)
  • Freighthouse (on Main at 20th)
  • Union Station (on Main, opposite the station)
  • Crown Center (southern terminus, on Pershing at Grand in dedicated lanes)

The Transportation Development District will generate revenue from the following downtown sources:

  • Special Assessment on Real Property Assessed Value (including Chapter 353 abated properties)
  • 1% in-district Sales Tax (in addition to a TDD sales tax that covers the Power & Light District)
  • Special Assessments on Commercial Surface Parking
  • Fares ($1 per ride)
  • Advertising revenue

TDDs can issue bonds and are managed by an elected Board of registered voters within the district boundaries will be overseen by a four-person Board composed of City officials and mayoral appointees [Ed Note: Corrected on 1/10/12 at the request of the City of Kansas City; there are multiple ways to form a TDD Board, per statute.]. The proposed boundaries are the Missouri River on the north, 27th Street on the south, the centerline of Broadway on the west, and the centerline of Locust Street on the east. This would include most of the River Market, downtown loop, and Crossroads, but not Quality Hill or Columbus Park. Major retail hubs such as the City Market, Power & Light District, and Crown Center would all be included. An in-district election to form the TDD will occur early in 2012.

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