Streetcar committee recommends 8-mile extension to city council

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City streetcar advisory committee approved Tuesday a recommendation to add eight miles of track to the developing starter track.

The additions would include service along Main Street from the end of the current project to the University of Missouri- Kansas City campus, along Independence Avenue, from downtown to Benton Boulevard and along Linwood from Main Street to Prospect Avenue.

The recommendation also includes a new Prospect MAX bus line that would run along Prospect Avenue from 12th Street to 75th Street.

Vince Gauthier, director of planning for architecture firm BNIM, said adding a bus line to the overall system is expected to add 20-35 percent new riders and it makes it easier to get federal funding.

Adding the three streetcar lines will cost about $471 million and the Prospect MAX bus line will cost about $43 million, according to BNIM.

Gauthier said a plan will not move forward without a 50 percent match from the federal government; but before planners can seek federal dollars, city leaders and residents need to authorize local funding.

The recommendation will be presented to council members on Thursday.

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