How many people are expected to ride the streetcar?
Forecasted daily ridership is approximately 2,700 vehicles on opening day (2015).
Who is the typical rider or the largest market user group?
There is not one single market or user group for the streetcar. Downtown employees, downtown residents, tourists, and event visitors (City Market, Sprint Center, etc.) – anyone traveling downtown – are all considered potential streetcar users. Downtown employees will likely be riding during the peak hours and lunch hours. Residents and visitors may use the streetcar for evening and weekend activities.
How is the rider experience being developed and considered?
In several ways. The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) has determined that the system will be run without a fare, minimizing dwell times and maximizing economic benefits to riders. The City, design team, and KCSA, in consultation with stakeholders, are currently considering streetcar stop design, vehicle interior configuration and other elements of rider experience.
What amenities will be on the streetcar?
City officials and members of the Streetcar Authority Board have put together a list of vehicle specifications for Kansas City’s Streetcar. These include:
-Possible intelligent features
-Minimum passenger capacity of 115
-Compatible with Kansas City’s climate
-Easy integration into existing traffic
What will the streetcar look like?
The exact make and model have not been finalized, but the vehicle will be a sleek, modern streetcar – much different from the vintage trolleys seen in some other cities. Paint colors, interior layout, etc. are yet to be defined by the City and Kansas City Streetcar Authority.
What will the hours of operation be?
This decision will be made by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority and will be based on many factors, including operational costs. In the study phases, it was suggested that the operational hours be from 6am to Midnight on weekdays, and a little later starting and ending times on the weekends. These operational hours are similar to other cities.
Will the streetcar run as an express at night if no one is at a stop?
These operational decisions are not yet finalized. However, the operator will know if someone is waiting at the stop or if it can pass by the empty stop.
How will the streetcar stops be spaced?
Streetcars are designed to be “pedestrian accelerators.” Their function is to provide local circulation. The bus system brings people to and from Downtown, and the streetcar will help distribute them. These “spacings” are typical of modern streetcar systems in a downtown area.
How fast will the streetcar travel?
It will run with traffic, so it will travel at traffic speeds. Streetcar vehicles are capable of traveling at speeds up to at least 45 miles per hour. It is unlikely the streetcar will reach those speeds in the Downtown environment.
Will traffic slow down on Main Street?
The streetcar travels in the automobile lanes at travel speeds. There will be some delays when the streetcar stops to pick up and let passengers out. Main Street is being redesigned to include turn lanes at intersections and intersection operations have been planned to minimize delays. In addition, the adjacent streets (Walnut Street and Baltimore Street) have been converted from one-way to two-way streets to provide additional north-south capacity.
Will the streetcar be quicker than walking if it stops every 2 blocks?
Yes. It will run with traffic and dwell times at stops will be approximately 20 seconds or less. In some locations, stop spacing is longer than two blocks; most notably as the streetcar crosses the three bridges on the corridor.
Will parking be available near the ends of the route?
There is a Park-and-Ride lot at the northern terminus at the intersection of Third Street and Grand Boulevard. At the southern terminus, there will be paid parking available at Union Station and Crown Center.
The streetcar project budget does not include the construction of a new parking lot or garage. As the streetcar system expands, further studies will be conducted to determine feasible locations for new routes. It is presumed that these studies will consider land-use, transit-oriented development, and parking.
How will security be handled?
Safety and security plans are currently being developed in conjunction with the City, the design team and the KCSA.
Will the streetcar receive priority signal coordination on Main Street?
Signal design and timing are still being refined. The streetcar will operate like other vehicles on the road and will stop for red lights on Main Street. If the streetcar is close to the intersection, the system may be able to keep the light green for a few extra seconds so the streetcar can pass through without stopping.
How will the KC Downtown Streetcar work with the Kansas City Bus Transit?
The streetcar system will increase the bus system’s efficiency and effectiveness by creating a “central spine” around which downtown service can focus. The streetcar route is being designed to complement local bus service.
What will happen to the MAX and other bus service on Main Street? Will the bus and streetcar have the same stops?
The MAX will remain in operation along its current route. KCATA is also conducting a Downtown Transit Study to determine the best bus service strategy to support and complement the Streetcar. The City, the design team, and KCATA are examining the potential for shared stops where feasible. KCATA has been very involved with the planning of the streetcar and is working with the City and design team to make sure the services are coordinated to the maximum extent possible.
What are the funding mechanisms? When will the assessments start?
The Kansas City Downtown Transportation Development District (TDD) started collecting a 1-cent sales tax on Monday, April 1, 2013 to help fund the KC Streetcar project. The TDD will generate revenue primarily from this sales tax and special assessments on real property only within the TDD.
How will construction impact me?
Building a streetcar line is different from building a road or even light-rail transit. Construction will be completed in segments (perhaps 2-3 blocks at a time), and the City will work with business owners and residents along the route to minimize disruptions.
Who is paying for the replacement of the water main and relocation of the private utilities?
The City’s Water Services Department will pay for the water main replacement sewer improvements, using non-TDD funds. Private utilities will bear the costs of their own relocations.
How many utilities total will have to be moved? How many companies?
Over 20 utility companies have been identified along the route. Coordination is ongoing to determine how many utilities will need to be moved.
How long will a business be without power, gas or water?
The City will be working with the utilities along the route and the City water line contractor (when hired) to develop a plan for these items. The goal will be to maintain services essential to business operations.
When will the utility relocation and construction take place? How much notice will property owners and tenants be given?
Utility relocation is expected to start in the Summer of 2013. The City will be working with the contractor to develop a construction sequencing plan. After that happens, a plan to notify property owners will be developed.
Will there be incentives for the contractor to finish on time or early?
The City will develop contract language to encourage the contractor to complete the project as scheduled.
Will the entire 2 miles be under construction at the same time?
No. The construction will be sequenced. Phasing plans will be developed once a contractor is hired.
Overall, construction will consist of two parts: utility relocation and track construction. Each of these will be broken up into phases.
How will access to businesses and garages be handled during construction?
Once the City has hired a contractor, a construction sequencing plan will be developed. The City intends to make sure garage and driveway access will be maintained throughout construction. The City and contractor will be coordinating with local business owners to minimize impacts.
How will closures be planned and communicate?
The City will be working with the contractor (once hired) to develop a communications plan in order to ensure that construction activities and affected streets will be communicated to appropriate stakeholders at appropriate times.
What is a streetcar?
A streetcar is an electric, fixed-rail public transportation vehicle that uses a steel-tracked fixed path. It will run in existing street lanes, just like other vehicles. Streetcars are generally designed to serve shorter local trips rather than long commute-type trips.
Why does Kansas City need a streetcar?
Over the past decade, the downtown Kansas City area has experienced a strong commercial and residential resurgence. To support this growth, there is an emerging need to improve transportation options for local circulation and to improve linkages between activity centers.
Also, the City’s Greater Downtown Area Plan calls for downtown population and employment to double in the next 20 years, further emphasizing the need for strengthened downtown transit. To meet our current and future transportation needs, the KC Streetcar project will not only create an important and consolidated transit connection, but will also serve as a catalyst for continued and sustained economic development.
Where will the KC Streetcar path be?
To see the KC Streetcar route – click here.
How much will the streetcar cost to build?
The estimated capital cost is $102 million for construction and approximately $2.7 million annually for ongoing operations.
Where will the vehicle maintenance facility be located?
Construction is planned just East of the River Market area.
Will there be new poles for the electric power source?
Yes. There will be an Overhead Contact System (OCS) that includes poles spaced roughly every 110 feet. In some cases, these poles will have short cantilevers out over the street to carry the trolley wire. In other instances, wires will be strung across the street on which to hang the trolley wire. This distinction depends on how far the streetcar runs from the curb at the location of the pole. The City and design team are working on options to combine these OCS poles, wherever feasible, with street light or signal poles.
Where will delivery trucks stop after the streetcar tracks are in place?
In many cases, delivery trucks may need to stop on the side streets. The City will communicate this information to businesses and delivery truck companies.
Where are expansions planned?
The current line is being viewed as a starter line. The City has initiated a study with multiple routes and options, including: an extension of the starter line from Crown Center to the Country Club Plaza or the University of Missouri – Kansas City; routes going to eastern Kansas City; and a route to the western part of the city, among others. Also, the City of North Kansas City, KCMO, MARC, and MoDOT have initiated a joint study to look at a route traveling north of the Missouri River.
Where can I learn more about Kansas City’s transit system?
There are a number of resources that provide information about the transit systems in our region.
Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance – www.transitworksforus.org
The City of Kansas City, MO – http://kcmo.org
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) – www.kcata.org
Mid-America Regional Council Smart Moves – www.kcsmartmoves.org
Click here to submit a question about the KC Streetcar.