KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The East-West KC Streetcar Transit Study released it’s proposed route and 16 proposed stops, looking for public feedback.
The plan was created with public input but further public engagement will help the project advance through a roughly decade-long planning and construction project.
“We have the investments that have been made for the Troost Max and Prospect Max that do a great job moving people north and south, but we’ve lacked that big investment to move people east and west, which is really important to our community,” said Project Manager AJ Farris.
The route selected would put a transit center at Van Brunt Blvd and Linwood to the east, near the Kansas City VA Medical Center. The streetcar would run west to Main Street, where it would link up with the Streetcar Extension, under construction right now, heading south to 39th Street. Then it would turn west on 39th and run to University of Kansas Health Systems, potentially crossing the stateline.
“Being able to connect to the VA Center is vital,” said KC Streetcar’s Donna Mandelbaum. “That is a very high-transit corridor location for our bus system right now.”
The study group considered various kinds of transit to make the east-west connection but Mandelbaum says the data suggested the Streetcar is the preferred option, pushing the cost to somewhere around $600 million, according to study documents.
“Fixed-rail lines like the Streetcar do cost more than a bus route but then there are other benefits as well, especially [with] economic development,” Mandelbaum said.
In downtown, where the Streetcar is already operating, KC Streetcar says more than $2 billion of investment has come into the communities around it.
Additional investment along Main Street before the extension is complete suggests that trend will continue along Linwood too when the east-west project happens.
“This corridor has a large amount of density and development that can support a development like this,” Farris said.