KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With just a few weeks left before its grand opening, the Kansas City Streetcar will continue testing Tuesday and for the first time FOX 4 takes you inside the streetcar to get a first-hand look at the city's newest addition and its testing process.
One of the things riders will notice as soon as they board the streetcar are the monitors located near the driver. There are 16 cameras both inside and outside of the streetcar that feed back to the main maintenance center in an effort to increase security for riders. Tests have also included bringing in other agencies such as police officers to prepare for any scenario. The streetcar communications manager says these tests help them get feedback and make changes.
Donna Mandelbaum with the KC Streetcar Authority explained that on Tuesday the streetcars will be testing what they call "coupling." Mandelbaum said coupling would be a necessary measure if a streetcar were to lose its power or has an incident on the track. A streetcar would attach itself to the streetcar that is stuck and push or pull it back to the maintenance facility.
"Certain test we do in the middle of the night or very early morning so we don't disturb the public as much with traffic control," Mandelbaum said. "Others we are doing during the day. We are training our operators. We have a long list of testing and training to do before we get to May 6."
When asked whether changes have been made after a streetcar hit a parked vehicle, Mandelbaum said they have tweaked their driver training, communication and even re-lined where vehicles can and cannot park.
"We do have parking on the street car route," Mandelbaum said. "About 200 on street parking on the route so we have to mark those off with a white type of paint. So we continuously do that in the city works with us to do that so everyone knows the safe places to park."
The KC Streetcar is expected to open to the public on May 6.