KC Light Rail

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Light rail and the new KCI terminal

Kansas City International Airport will have a new terminal in 20 years and there isn't much you can do about it.

Okay, ready to move on? Good, because the new terminal design shown to locals at an open house on Thursday has a light rail station. While some may say "Duh!", it's a far cry from earlier comments from the Aviation Department, who basically intimated the existing revenue stream (parking) that keeps KCI self-funded would be at risk if we were offered an alternative way to get there. At least now we've moved beyond denial and have accepted the reality that the shoddy local bus (#129x) option isn't cutting it for just about everyone.

All that said, if you live downtown or don't mind transferring and happen to be departing and arriving between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday only from Terminal C, then this 45-minute bus ride is for you. $1.25 each way beats even one day of bargain parking.

5 Comments so far

  1. enough December 9th, 2007 4:33 pm

    i didn’t attend the open house, but based on the star’s story, i’m not convinced of aviation’s commitment to make the airport transit accessible. it’s easy to draw a light rail line on a map — a cheap “bone” to throw to gotta-go-to-the-airport light rail proponents.

    there is no record of cooperation on avaiation’s part with the ata about light rail or any other form of transit. when they did the terminal renovation a few years ago they didn’t make any provision for transit.

    aviation tolerates the route 129 bus service to kci — and sells the ata advertising space at the in-terminal kiosks — but they won’t allow buses to take even a few-minute layover at terminal c. security is their excuse, but private shuttles spend more time parked just as close to the terminals.

    planning for the new terminal deserves ongoing scrutiny. and in the meantime, we need to elevate the importance of regular transit service to kci, 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. the city council should mandate a subsidy for transit service from aviation’s parking revenues, and from a small per-day fee on private airport parking operators.

  2. eric December 10th, 2007 10:11 am

    I’m also skeptical about the sincerity of the aviation department on this one. Call me a cynic, but perhaps the light rail station is just a way get a little bit more public support for an airport redevelopment that most of the public seems to oppose.

    It seems like the current bus service is mostly tailored to the needs of service workers employed at the airport, not the traveling public.

  3. john December 10th, 2007 7:03 pm

    I certainly hope we have rail going to the airport in twenty years!!

  4. Dave December 11th, 2007 8:10 pm

    how funny you mention the 129x. My wife took that bus just this week to the airport to catch a flight to vegas.

    You are exactly right — she was flying out during the daytime, during a weekday, and from Terminal C. Thus, taking the bus was far, far cheaper than driving and parking.

  5. Park Sleep Fly August 20th, 2008 10:14 am

    I would consider using an airport hotel if I didn’t live too close to the airport, or within the busses area.

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