KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Sly James’ streetcar initiative will not be funded by one of the grantees for this year’s TIGER IV grants.
The 2012 TIGER IV program received 703 grant applications totaling $10.2 billion in requests. The USDOT awarded a little less than $500 million in this round. TIGER IV was highly competitive with 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
“We are obviously disappointed, but not deterred,” said Mayor James in a press release. “Kansas City is not giving up on this project. We move forward immediately by applying for a grant under the revised Small Starts program of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and will continue to get our local financing package firmly in place. We may not have gotten this grant, but we will keep working to make this a reality in the very near term. It is increasingly clear in today’s political and economic climate in Washington — if we want something done we will need to do it ourselves. We can and will make this happen.”
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Planning for the downtown modern streetcar is proceeding. Ballots to establish the Transportation Development District have been mailed to downtown residents and are due July 31, 2012. Firm cost estimates for the line are taking shape and a committee has been appointed to establish the governance model. The city has partnered to develop and launch Neighbor.ly, a crowdfunding platform for the streetcar project. Discussion and strategies for alternatives to TIGER grant funding have been proceeding and now take on new urgency.