KC Light Rail

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

Archive for August, 2008

Taking the temperature along the route

The Star provides an excellent snapshot today of how residents and businesses along the 14-mile starter route are feeling.

While the comments run the gamut from excited to suspicious, we encourage all Kansas Citians to trust the federally-mandated process that requires facts to back up any route in exchange for federal funding. Travel times must be competitive (hence the need for eliminating bottlenecks in the street) and ridership estimates must be based on potential (versus just existing riders).

What we find most intriguing is the faulty assumption that light rail will have a more detrimental or divisive effect than the high-volume arteries that already exist along the route. Don't think that's a fair comparison? Ask any neighborhood association why they've lobbied for one-way streets and traffic circles and you'll have the answer.

(Hint: Too many cars are bad for neighborhoods, too.)

6 comments

Gladstone passes light rail support resolution

Gladstone, just paces from the northern terminus of the starter route, passed a resolution this week supporting the efforts in Kansas City and North Kansas City to place light rail on the November ballot.

The proposed terminus at North Oak and Vivion will likely be a transfer point for new bus routes that will fan across the Northland, including Gladstone. Any future rail expansion to KCI would also likely go through Gladstone's borders.

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MAX adds extra rush-hour trip to Waldo

In response to increased ridership — KCATA is on track to top 16 million this year — an extra rush-hour trip to Waldo is being added to the MAX route. The MAX is often standing room only on southbound evening trips due to the alternating Plaza Only and Plaza/Waldo setup (in off-peak hours, all buses continue to Waldo).

Hat tip to letsgokc.com.

5 comments

Are you ready for a Cordish boycott?

The big, bad gorilla in the room has spoken: Cordish opposes the city's light rail route down Grand.

In today's Star, Cordish spokesman Jon Stephens tries on the low-hangers but it's such a transparent argument: "The business owners that have invested tens of millions of dollars into the community and made a commitment to our newly revitalized downtown should have their voices heard and be given a seat at the table with respect to light rail."

Um, that would be a special table since we've been having public input meetings for months. Sorry, Jon (and your Baltimore flunkies), but you should have showed up then to place your stickers on the map. Pretty sure you got the invite.

It seemed inevitable that someone would emerge as the opposition. Who knew it would be such an easy target for counter-insurgence? Cordish has a lot riding on the district — almost as much as city taxpayers — and further threatening good will could lead to economic backlash.

Anyone up for a little P+L boycott?

12 comments

Bus service from downtown to KCI? Think again…

Is there a conspiracy to prevent public transit service to KCI? It almost seems that way, and we're not just talking light rail. Tonight the KCATA is seeking public comment on changes to the only bus that makes that trek: #129. Proposed changes would neuter that weekday-only route at Barry Road and I-29 instead of continuing on to Terminal C as it does today. #129 would be replaced by two smaller routes requiring — we assume — multiple transfers from anywhere outside of the Northland.

And yes, we actually do use the #129.

Why a conspiracy? Parking. That regionally-derived revenue helps prop up our self-sufficient airport, which is normally a good thing to most taxpayers. The problem is that we'll be one of the only major cities in the country without any direct transit service between our airport and the city center.

NOTE: Tonight's meeting is transit accessible.

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Round-up: This week in light rail

Local:

  • KCATA considers discontinuing downtown-to-KCI bus route (KCATA)
  • Rail plan looks for approval in November (Sun Gazette)
  • Scrutinizing the latest light-rail proposition (Dos Mundos)
  • Wyandotte County to start Sunday bus service in September (Kansas City Star)
  • Regional transit planners from three counties hear from the public (Sun Gazette)

National:

  • Plans to expand light rail progress (Arizona Republic)
  • Portland in an hour? Say hello to new commuter rail (Forest Grove News-Times)
  • Council OKs ballot question on transit (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
  • Tranportation secretary Houston-bound with 'good news' (Houston Chronicle)
  • Dueling transit plans differ on station placement (Crain's Detroit Business)
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