Where is the streetcar headed? Update given at NEIA luncheon

By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
November 5, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – As more tracks get laid, more information becomes available about the Kansas City Streetcar.

Last month, Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority, gave a short presentation at the Northeast Industrial Association luncheon to provide a general overview of the KC Streetcar project, anticipated completion dates, and the possibilities for future expansion.

“There’s a lot of activity going on downtown at the moment,” Gerend said. “But the pain and agony will be worth the wait.”

Gerend told the group of about 25 people that by this time next year, construction should be complete and vehicle testing should be underway. The rail system should then be open to the public by early 2016. Recently, he added, the operations committee approved what time the streetcar will run from: 6 a.m. – midnight Monday to Thursday, 6 – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday.

“There will be a driver/operator for the vehicles,” Gerend said. “It’s mixed traffic streetcar so they’ll be able to hold green lights and will have to stop at red lights. There will be cars in front and behind them.”

He told the crowd the city is still working on a detailed operating plan and have been in talks with experts from across the country on how to best operate the streetcar. The length of time the route will run a streetcar approximately 13 minutes, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer depending on the time of day. The cars will stop for about 20 seconds and stop to pick-up and unload passengers every three blocks. One car can hold about 150 people and will be free to ride.

“We wanted to maximize usage and didn’t think it would be completely utilized if someone paid $2 for a ride,” Gerend said.

Gerend also updated the group on the construction work being done on the Singleton Vehicle Maintenance Facility. The facility is located in Columbus Park, at the intersection of Third and Holmes Street. The facility is named after E. Crichton “Kite” Singleton, a longtime public transit advocate.

The cost of the two-story, 24,982 square-foot station is estimated at around $10 million. The upper level will house streetcar administration while the first floor is dedicated to vehicle service, repair and maintenance for the streetcar trolleys. The facility is expected to be ready by next summer.

The continuous detours, Gerend said, are currently because of third party utility work. He added that the city’s water main issue has been bad for years and one of the biggest benefits of the rail construction has been the water main replacements.

Gerend said the streetcar has cost the city $102 million, with $65 million for construction, $20 million for vehicles and another $20 million for maintenance. This past August, Kansas City residents voted down an expansion that would have brought the streetcar further into the Northeast, as well as along Linwood Boulevard and south along the Main Street route to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He noted that the city needs to clarify its expansion strategy and work to boost community support east of Troost Avenue. There are no disagreements, he added, that the next logical route is to continue the track south.

“The project will stand on its own but there’s a vision of a bigger line in the long term,” Gerend said. “We needed to start small, with just two miles first, to show the public it can work.”

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast Newscast Episode 34 – the expansion of Healing House w/ Executive Director Bobbi Jo Reed

    November 17th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson sits down with Healing House […]


    ‘Revive the East Side’ legislation is heading to City Hall

    November 17th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Sixth District KCMO Councilman Scott Taylor held a press conference at City Hall on Thursday, […]


    KCPS maintains provisional accreditation

    November 16th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) earned 89.5 of a possible 140 points in its 2017 […]


    Local Artist unveils Woodland Elementary School Mural

    November 16th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News Historic Northeast is blessed to have world class artists living within the community, and on […]


    Block Watch Organizing 101

    November 15th, 2017
    by

    Heather Welch Special to Northeast News During a recent community meeting discussing the increased number of homicides in Historic Northeast, […]


  • Previously vandalized sculpture relocated to Scuola Vita Nuova

    November 14th, 2017
    by

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News A sculpture that was vandalized at Independence Park Plaza in August has found a new […]


    Shooting on Independence Avenue

    November 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Police responded to a non-lethal shooting near the intersection of Independence Avenue and Denver on […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 33 – the violent crime episode

    November 10th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, Managing Editor Paul Thompson dives into the violent crime […]


    Community forum to discuss food’s relation to race, gender and economy

    November 10th, 2017
    by

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Stakeholders in the local food movement in Kansas City, Missouri are holding a forum with […]


    Triple homicide in the Blue Valley Area

    November 10th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News At approximately 10 am this morning officers were called to the 4900 block of E. 17th street. Upon […]


  • What’s Happening

    CID: Northeast Community Center & Children’s Memorial Lutheran Church

    The direction of history

      Last Friday night, this long-in-the-tooth newsdog had the honor and privilege of witnessing the future of history in this […]

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Local Weather