KC Light Rail

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

Archive for March, 2008

Money behind the bus tax campaign

Prime Buzz has posted info on contributors to the bus tax campaign. Nothing surprising…

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Does WyCo need the Legislature’s approval?

Mayor Funkhouser may have finally cracked the regional funding nut.

Funkhouser has uncovered the possibility that Wyandotte County may not need approval from the Kansas Legislature to opt in to a regional funding mechanism, based on a pre-existing bi-state agreement (WyCo pays KCATA to operate several bus routes today). If that's true, he may be able to cobble together a four-county consortium – Wyandotte in Kansas; Jackson, Platte, and Clay in Missouri – for a 1/2-cent sales tax this year that doesn't include Johnson County. From previous reports, a 1/4-cent sales tax polls better than the 3/8-cent tax KC would have to ask for if we go it alone. One might surmise that a 1/2-cent tax would fall somewhere in between. Chances could improve even more if voters see a solid plan before they enter the ballot box. Recent workshops suggest that if a handful of routing issues (East side spur, Grand vs. Main/Walnut, North Kansas City) are resolved by summer, the city might just have its first workable plan ever.

The Mayor expects to have an answer on whether or not to include Wyandotte County by May. Ballot language for a November election must be submitted by August.

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Funding File: Columbus

Today we begin a new series intended to generate discussion about innovative ways to fund transit. The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, has proposed funding a new streetcar line with a 4% surcharge on event tickets. People paying the surcharge would get a free ride on the system in exchange. Granted, this system is an 2.8-mile urban circulator, not a 12-mile commuter-length system that has been proposed here… but money is money. Check the full article for the rest of the mayor's funding laundry list.


ATA unveils new website

KCATA debuted a significant update to their main website today. There's a bit of an issue with the CSS (the Trip Planner is invisible to us… yes, we checked multiple browsers!), but we're sure they'll figure that out pretty quickly. While it's a very nice update for regular computer users, it's still a bit of a mess on mobile devices, including smartphones.

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Round-up: This week in light rail

Ford: KCMO needs a "Plan B" (Kansas City Star)
Bus tax in light rail's shadow (Kansas City Star)
April 8 ballot information (City of Kansas City)
New EPA ozone standard will challenge KC metro (Business Journal)

Tampa gets regional with transit (Tampa Bay Online)
Cincinnati authorizes streetcar study (Business Courier)
Parking gets tight at Denver park-and-rides (Aurora Sentinel)
Light rail "best bet" for getting to Charlotte's ACC tourney (WCNC)
Plans for new light-rail link in Pittsburgh revived (Philly.com)
Ford considers building "Transit Connect" taxi (Reuters)

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Light rail workshops next week

Next week is a busy one for light rail planning. Workshops will be held in all four "nodes" along the proposed route. The first meeting in each node is really introductory ("Orientation & Goals"), but the second meeting is where each neighborhood will select their preferred street alignment and station locations.

If you live in the affected area, here's your chance to have a say about the specifics. The full calendar is here, but below are the events coming up next week:

East Meeting #1 (east of Main Street)
6-8 p.m.
Monday, March 24
Mohart Multi-Purpose Center
3200 Wayne

North Meeting #1 (north of Missouri River)
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 25
Northgate Middle School
2117 NE 48 Street

Downtown Meeting #2 (River to Linwood Boulevard)
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 26
Kansas City Design Center
1018 Baltimore

Midtown Meeting #1 (Linwood to UMKC)
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 27
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
11 E. 40th


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