Northeast News
Nov. 3, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County moves one step closer to regional transit vision.

According to a press release from Lisa Carter, public information officer for the county, Jackson County has been allocated $10 million in federal highway transportation funds to apply toward the $59.9 million total cost of purchasing the Rock Island Corridor. In addition, Jackson County and the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) have extended a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that gives the county the exclusive right to purchase key transit corridors which have the potential to be used for expanded public transit options in the future.

The $10 million in Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds were sub allocated to MARC, the region’s metropolitan planning organization, by the Federal Highway Administration. The MARC board, comprised of regional representatives, voted to appropriate the funds. Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders said the allocation signifies the acquisition of the Rock Island Corridor is not just a Jackson County priority, but a regional priority.

The agreement with Union Pacific to purchase the rights-of-way to nearly 23 miles of transit corridors running through Raytown, Lee’s Summit, Kansas City and Independence has been extended until Sept. 30, 2015.

“Union Pacific has been a great partner in this endeavor,” Sanders said . “They recognize, as we do, that this is a unique opportunity not only for Jackson County, but the entire region for the development of regional transit and extending our trails system.”

The memorandum entails no financial risk to county taxpayers should Jackson County and Union Pacific be unable to reach a binding sales agreement before that new deadline of Sept. 30, 2015.