KC Light Rail

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

Star shines the light on transit funding

The Star has a write-up today about the city's budget problems and the impact that will have on transit funding this year. In short, cuts are coming. Interesting that ex-light-rail champion Ed Ford had this to say: "There’s no question we’re going to have to break promises we made with voters. It’s just a question of which ones and how many."

We'll remember that rhetoric during the next mayoral election.

Pro-transit forces in Congress were unable to shoehorn transit operating assistance into the final stimulus bill, so it's a story being repeated across the nation. Of course, the severity can be reduced here if the council had enough political capital to stand up to the interests that demand continued city subsidies to regional amenities (American Jazz Museum, Kansas City Zoo, Liberty Memorial, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, and Truman Sports Complex).

At this rate, we'd be better off with a larger fare hike to retain existing service levels and the 17% farebox recovery target. $2 seems to be the new national trend and would raise about $5 million annually.

The city simply cannot continue to starve transit until it suffers from a complete lack of utility.

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