KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A judge has cleared the way for Kansas City to move forward with an election to fund downtown street cars. However, several things must happen before the proposal becomes reality.
It’s a three-step process that begins on Monday, that’s when residents in the proposed transportation development district can request a ballot to vote on whether a special taxing district should exist. The goal of the ballot is to gauge interest from voters who live in the proposed Street Car District an area that runs from 27th & Main to the City Market
“I’m very disappointed that street cars or trams gets voted off every year, it’s very sad,” said Melanie McLaughlin, KC resident.
If voters approve a special tax district to help fund a street car system, a second election will be held later this year to decide on the amount of taxes residents in that special district will pay.
“As with any type of rail road or transportation upgrade it’s just one of those realities in life and the further you let this thing go down the line it’s just more money it’s going to cost the public in the long run,” said Bill Cruttenden of Kansas City.
As it stands now, the city is trying to secure a $25 million federal grant to help fund the project. Jean Krause who lives in the proposed special tax district says having an alternative mode of transportation makes it easier for people to get around because they don’t have to worry about parking or traffic jams.
“Here we’ve got tons of restaurants, the Power and Light district and a lot of people who don’t have access to those type of entertainment outlets will have it if we have a light rail system or some type of streetcar,” Krause said.
Bill Slayer who just opened the Vitamin Pantry in the River Market says he is giving the streetcar the thumbs up in hopes that it will give more people access to his business.
Click STREETCAR to read the judge’s order allowing an election to fund downtown street cars.