Streetcar 803 leaving Union Station, northbound
|Owner||City of Kansas City, Missouri|
|Locale||Kansas City, Missouri, USA|
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||10|
|Began operation||May 6, 2016|
|Operator(s)||Kansas City Streetcar Authority|
|Number of vehicles||4 CAF Urbos 3 model 100|
|System length||2.2 mi (3.5 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V overhead line|
The KC Streetcar, formally branded as the RideKC Streetcar, is a streetcar system in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Construction began in May 2014. The system opened for service on May 6, 2016.
Route and stops
The downtown streetcar runs along a 2.2-mile-long (3.5 km) route between the River Market and Union Station, running through the central business district and the Crossroads, mostly along Main Street. It make stops about every two blocks. Along the way it connects directly with Amtrak, local and commuter bus services (including a direct route to Kansas City International Airport), and several B-cycle bike-share kiosks.
Proponents tout this initial linear segment as one of the simplest and straightest modern streetcar routes in the United States. All platforms offer level boarding and real-time arrival information.
|Stop||In the area|
|City Market (5th/Walnut)||River Market, City Market (south), Arabia Steamboat Museum|
|River Market North (3rd/Grand)||River Market, B-cycle, City Market (northeast), Town of KS bridge, Ride KC 3rd and Grand MetroCenter|
|River Market West (Delaware)||River Market, City Market Park|
|North Loop (7th/Main)||Garment District|
|Library (9th/Main)||Financial District, Library District, Central Library, B-cycle, Commerce Tower, Ride KC 10th and Main MetroCenter|
|MetroCenter (12th/Main)||One Kansas City Place, Town Pavilion, City Center Square, Ride KC Bus and MAX transfer, Power & Light District (north end), Barney Allis Plaza|
|Power & Light (14th/Main)||Power & Light District (south end), Kansas City Convention Center (north end), Municipal Auditorium, Sprint Center, Power & Light tower, One Light, Two Light (future)|
|Kauffman Center (16th/Main)||Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City Convention Center (south end), Crossroads Arts District, New convention hotel (future)|
|Crossroads (19th/Main)||Crossroads Arts District, Freight House, Freight House Pedestrian Bridge|
|Union Station||Amtrak, B-cycle, Crown Center, Penn Valley Park, Pershing Square, Washington Square Park, The Link, Liberty Memorial and National WW1 Museum, National Archives, Freight House Pedestrian Bridge (via The Link), Crown Center hotels|
The streetcar is operated by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, a not-for-profit corporation. The authority was incorporated in August 2012 after voters approved creation of the Kansas City Downtown Transportation Development District, a special taxing district that will fund construction and operation of a two-mile streetcar route through downtown Kansas City. Legal claims against the district and its taxation power were dismissed in August 2013. The streetcar began construction in May 2014, was completed in fall 2015, and began carrying passengers in service on May 6, 2016.
The Streetcar Authority's 13 directors, a mix of public officials, business people, and transit advocates, were appointed in late 2012 and met for the first time as an officially sanctioned body in early 2013. The authority's oversight of the streetcar's operation and maintenance is modeled on that of the Portland Streetcar. The city council has the power to appoint some of the authority's directors and retains ownership over the system.
Day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system will be handled by Herzog Transit Services Inc., under joint contract to the Streetcar Authority and the City of Kansas City. The contract was signed in October 2015.
Planning and construction
In December 2012, the city council awarded a contract to HDR, Inc. to complete a final design for the downtown streetcar line. HDR had previously performed preliminary engineering work. In October 2013, the mayor announced that the system will use 100% low-floor Urbos 3 streetcars made by the American subsidiary of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in Elmira Heights, New York. Pre-construction work, utility-relocation work in preparation for the project, began in late 2013, and construction of the line began in May 2014. Construction was compeleted in late 2015 and testing was performed from December 2015 to May 2016.
The projected cost of the Downtown Streetcar is $102,000,000. The majority of funds will come from Special Obligation Bonds of the City of Kansas City, Missouri totaling $63,955,000. Construction bonds and operating costs will repaid by a special assessment and one-cent sales tax collected inside a transportation development district approved by voters in 2012. Both levies will be assessed only within the taxing district, which encompasses downtown neighborhoods along the streetcar route. Additional funding includes a utility contribution and two federal grants totaling $17.1 million. The project received another $20 million federal grant, through the TIGER program, in August 2013. Passengers will ride free of charge. Total construction costs were $250,000 under budget and operations costs are starting out under budget 
The streetcars are numbered 801-804, following the numbering set up by the original Kansas City Public Service Company numbering system. Car 801 arrived in Kansas City on November 2, 2015. Testing began on November 6. Car 802 through 804 later arrived between December and April.
Expansion planning began in 2014. Two studies covered one line north, crossing the Missouri River and eight lines heading east, west and south from downtown. A ballot item in August 2014 to add three new rail lines and an improved bus line failed at the ballot 40%–60%.
Operations on KC Streetcar began on May 6, 2016 at approximately 11am. The total opening Friday and Saturday ridership was over 27,000 riders, with the trains traveling 650 miles. The weekend celebration for the streetcars opening included music, a free carnival, fireworks and coordinated specials at businesses. bus service and bike share service was free to correspond with the launch.
- Light rail in the United States
- Streetcars in North America
- Streetcars in Kansas City (historical)
- List of streetcar systems in the United States (historical)
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- "The KC Streetcar Route | Kansas City's Modern Transit Option". KC Streetcar. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Horsley, Lynn (May 6, 2016). "After years of planning, setbacks, hard work, KC celebrates streetcar grand opening". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- Alonzo, Austin (January 7, 2014). "KC will send three city staff members to Spain for streetcar workshops". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
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- "KC Streetcar Brand Revealed". KC Streetcar (Press release). KC Streetcar. August 28, 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "Streetcars Are Up To Date In Kansas City". Forbes. June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
In December, Residents of Kansas City approved the construction of a two-mile, downtown streetcar line after a mail-in election.
- Horsley, Lynn (May 22, 2014). "KC breaks ground for streetcars — and OKs advance spending on expansion". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
- Hand, Gunnar (January 15, 2013). "Streetcar Renaissance". The Architect's Newspaper. Archpaper.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "How to Ride". KC Streetcar.
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- "Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County The Honorable Peggy Stevens McGraw, Judge". The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. August 7, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
- Alonzo, Austin (January 2, 2013). "Streetcar Authority mulls options in first official meeting". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- DVV Media UK. "Herzog Transit Services signs Kansas City Streetcar operating contract". Railway Gazette.
- Alonzo, Austin (December 12, 2012). "Kansas City voters approve streetcar plan". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Alonzo, Austin (December 21, 2012). "Kansas City streetcar’s first stop: Construction plans". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Alonzo, Austin (October 4, 2013). "Spanish firm CAF will supply streetcars". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- Horsley, Lynn (July 2, 2015). "Kansas City streetcar costs are comparable to other cities". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
- Alonzo, Austin (May 22, 2013). "Kansas City streetcar seeks $20 million TIGER grant". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Alonzo, Austin (August 30, 2013). "Kansas City wins $20M federal TIGER grant for streetcar". Kansas City Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- "Chris Hernandez". Twitter.
- "kclightrail.com". Twitter.
- Horsley, Lynn (November 2, 2015). "First KC streetcar vehicle rolls into town". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Horsley, Lynn (November 6, 2015). "Kansas City streetcar passes first test on downtown tracks". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Horsley, Lynn (August 5, 2014). "Kansas City streetcar plan stopped in its tracks". The Kansas City Star.
- KC Streetcar [kcstreetcar] (May 8, 2016). "Opening wknd passenger numbers: more than 27,000 riders enjoyed the #kcstreetcar over 2 days" (Tweet). Retrieved 2016-05-08.
- KC Streetcar [kcstreetcar] (May 8, 2016). "#kcstreetcar opening weekend fun fact: the fleet traveled nearly 650 miles over two days." (Tweet). Retrieved 2016-05-08.
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