KC Light Rail

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The Star Profiles KC Commuters

Was it more than just gas prices that turned Kansas Citians on to the potential for serious mass transit? The Star reports on the local commuting scene and allows several commuters to share their stories in their own words. Some choice cuts:

On average in Greater Kansas City, roughly a third of the commute to work and home is now congested, up from about 20 percent 10 years ago, according to a study by a transportation agency in Texas.

The clearest signal yet from Kansas City commuters that they have reached a tipping point may have been the November election. Kansas City voters approved a tax to build a 27-mile light-rail system — after rejecting the project a half dozen times.

…Kansas Citians have been slow to embrace mass transit, car pooling and other alternate forms of commuting. A study in 2002 showed that during evening traffic in the metro area, cars averaged fewer than 1.2 people, down from 1.3 in 1990.

With the population shift to the suburbs, our work commutes are not only longer, but we’re also grabbing the car keys more often for trips to the grocery store and restaurants, and we “outsource” more home chores, such as lawn care, meaning more service trucks on the road.

“Our traffic is growing at three times the rate of our population.”

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