All Aboard: Moving Streetcar project forward

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Construction for the Kansas City Streetcar project is expected to begin by the end of 2013. The project is expected to be completed by 2015.

The city council has a vote planned that would move $900,000 dollars from the Unappropriated Fund Balance of the Public Mass Transportation Fund to the Public Mass Transportation Fund.

The planned street car will run from the River Market to Union Station, primarily on Main Street. Supporters of the system say the project could become a more extensive system running to the Plaza, UMKC and into the suburbs.

Sales and property tax revenue is funding the project. Tom Trabon, chairman of the Streetcar Authority, said the group has already started to look at revenue-generating ideas from the project, too.

"What we're working on, with respect to the marketing, is looking at creative opportunities inside the street cars," Trabon said. "We are looking at opportunities at the actual stops, at the stations and then also the potential for naming rights sales."

The streetcar ride will be free for patrons. Opponents have expressed concern that downtown business owners and taxpayers will have to subsidize millions in maintenance for the project.

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