KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With some pretty big events ahead requiring public transportation, the Kansas City Area Transit Authority discussed its future Tuesday.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II presented Frank White III, president and CEO of the KCATA, with special recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, noting the quality of the public transportation serving a region of this size.
But what will that system look like in three years for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?
“It keeps me up at night,” White said with a laugh.
But White knows hosting a sporting event of that magnitude will take some help.
“At the end of the day, we’re looking at people coming here for 4-6 weeks or so,” White said. “So we have some things we’re going to the federal government for.”
But it’s not just the World Cup that White is planning for.
“Also thinking a little bit longer down the line, post World Cup, can we leverage this window to do some transformational investments in public transit that are sorely needed but we’ve never had something bring us together and make that ask?” he said.
As for changing public transportation to and from Kansas City International Airport, White said the chances for rail are slim. Current demand is possibly pushing for new express bus routes with fewer stops.
Some regular riders told FOX4 their dream would be more interplay between Jackson, Johnson and Clay counties, connecting buses with the Kansas City streetcar.
“They just need to extend it out both ways and then the bus system off of that, and I think it’s very doable,” Richard Haile, a regular KCATA rider, said.