KC Light Rail

Your source for news and information on Kansas City’s light rail progress

Archive for March, 2007

KCAIA to host Regional Transit Forum

The Kansas City American Institute of Architects (KCAIA) chapter is hosting a Regional Transit Forum at the Downtown Library (10th and Baltimore) at 5:15 pm on Monday, April 9th in the Helzberg Auditorium.

The forum will feature a great cast of panelists:

  • Tom Hoenig, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, 10th District
  • Mark Huffer, General Manager, KC Area Transportation Authority
  • Joan Roeseler, Planning and Program Development Team Leader, Federal Transit Administration, Region VII
  • Mell Henderson, Director of Transportation, Mid-America Regional Council
  • Clay Chastain, proposer of the successful Light Rail initiative on the November ‘06 ballot

The forum will be moderated by everyone's favorite development reporter, Kevin Collison of the Kansas City Star.

The event is free and open to the public.


Stage Is Set For Another Vote

The Federal Transit Administration sent a letter to the KCATA last week explaining the problem with funding the new light rail system from the existing transit sales tax: we must maintain existing service levels before spending that money on light rail. The bad news: KC is limited to a 1 cent sales tax for transit. The good news: KC still has 1/8th cent left before hitting that limit. Looks like we'll be voting on another sales tax increase to complete the funding picture before the year is out, and there is little doubt that any new ballot question will also seek to strip out some of the details of the original plan.

Speaking of voting, Tuesday is the final election for mayor and city council races. Both mayoral candidates have expressed an interest in moving light rail forward. It's up to you to decide whether it's little more than rhetoric.


City Approves Light Rail Study Funds

The City Council approved a $1.2 billion 2007 budget Thursday that includes $200,000 to study light rail; the money will come from the existing transportation tax.

On a related note, the KCATA budget gets cut in 2007 due to flat sales tax revenue and increased TIF reimbursements. TIF, or tax increment financing, diverts a portion of tax revenues to fund infrastructure improvements for specific development projects or areas.

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Light Rail For Parkville, OP?

In two separate articles this week, local politicos wax futuristic about potential light rail connections to whatever system we end up with in KC's urban core. First, Douglas Dowell, Ward 4 candidate for Overland Park city council, claims that Metcalf Avenue could be a "bustling backbone" full of green buildings and light rail for OP and Johnson County by 2032. Next, Parkville (home of Park University) gets a teesy-weensy grant to look at public transit options, giving Mayor Kathy Dusenbery the opportunity to voice support for connecting to a metro-wide system.


KCATA Named Official Project Sponsor

The Kansas City Council approved the ordinance #070262 yesterday assigning the Kansas City Area Transit Authority as the official project sponsor of the voter approved light rail project. The Federal Transit Administration requires a sponsor be identified before the official federal process can begin. The full text of the ordinance is available here.

Coincidentally, the FTA's Region VII office is located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

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MARC Wants You

The Mid-American Regional Council wants your feedback on participating in transportation planning.

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