Man says latest fight for Kansas City light rail is his last

Light rail hearing the final line for proponent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The plot thickens in one man's mission to bring a light rail system to Kansas City.

After more than five years of fighting, Clay Chastain says the latest hearing on his light rail plan is the finish line for him. Chastain, a community activist, brought nearly 4,000 signatures with him to a Kansas City courtroom on Thursday afternoon signed by Kansas City voters asking for the $1.6 billion light rail plan.

His plan involves three lines, including a light rail from the Kansas City International Airport to Brookside, a street car from the Zoo to Union Station, and then a commuter train from Grandview and into Kaufman Stadium.

City council rejected a similar plan in 2006 even after it was approved by voters. Council members said it was infeasible then and continue with the same argument now. However, there was a glimpse of hope for Chastain that the city may be willing to allow at least an edited part of the project up for a vote, but that will be up to the judge to decide.

The judge heard arguments today and said she'll make a decision soon.

“If we win the city has indicated they'll probably appeal it if they do we will not go to court any further this is it for us were not going to allow for them to play political games with the initiative and drag people from court after court after court and cost us money, it becomes a farce at some point,” he said.

Chastain says the current plan for a streetcar in 2015 excludes too many people. His plan costs about $1 billion more.

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