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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Kansas City launches streetcar service

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority late last week opened its 2-mile streetcar line in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

The new route is expected to serve tens of thousands of local residents, as well as visitors to the city, according to a press release issued by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Local and federal officials gathered May 6 to mark the Kansas City Streetcar's opening.
Photo: Federal Transit Administration

Part of a long-range plan to create a regional integrated transit system in the Kansas city area, the streetcar also connects with existing local bus services throughout the downtown corridor. Local officials credited the line's development with spurring billions of dollars in investment.

"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," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation provided a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to help fund the $102 million project. The department also contributed $17 million in other funds.

Since the Kansas City Streetcar project began in 2012, there have been 40 projects planned along the route, including a $200 million hotel and convention center currently under development, FTA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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