New downtown streetcar line opens in Kansas City

Downtown Kansas City
Downtown Kansas City | Courtesy of Shutterstock

Acting Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Carolyn Flowers recently joined Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James and other officials for a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a streetcar line through the city's downtown area.

This two-mile streetcar line was implemented with support from the Department of Transportation (USDOT) through a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and approximately $17 million in other USDOT funding.

“Streetcars are an increasingly popular transportation choice for cities seeking new ways to integrate reliable, convenient transit services that connect residents to jobs and other destinations,” Flowers said. “By supporting the Kansas City Streetcar, we are helping to create a strong transportation network that gives people options and helps build ladders of opportunity throughout the region.”

USDOT said the streetcar system eventually will connect bus lines that feed into the downtown-corridor area, with plans to add rapid-transit bus routes. The city has 40 projects in the works along the streetcar's route, including a $300 million hotel and convention center.

“The streetcar will continue to reinvigorate the heart of the city by bringing together neighborhoods, improving transportation options, and attracting new housing and economic activity,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

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