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Commuters, businesses react to KC Streetcar route expansion from east to west

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-13 19:45:54-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is teaming up with area organizations and regions for a comprehensive study to connect Kansas City’s east and west neighborhoods. They are seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide that road map.

Anthony Harms, who recently rode the Streetcar for the first time, says he had a great experience and would love to see the expansion of more routes.

“It’s open, it's clean, it's free, it makes things very easy,” Harms said. “Makes it a lot easier for you to transverse places where you don’t have to worry about parking, and you don’t have to worry about pedestrians or anything like that.”

The new route expanding from the University of Kansas Health System to the Truman Sports Complex will make it even easier for commuters and fill the transit gaps that currently exist.

A spokesperson with KC Streetcar Authority says it is just a study at this point, but results will determine what is possible and give structure to a financial plan to propel the project.

The Streetcar will run through 39th Street — a route Jane Hahn Leat takes on a weekly basis.

“I take the 39 bus to get to my tai chi classes, so since it’s on the same line, I’ll be taking the Streetcar when it’s available,” Hahn Leat said.

She is open to the idea of streetcars on her street but thinks it could also bring challenges of its own.

“I do feel a little concerned about the construction,” Hahn Leat said. “Yeah, it’ll be great when it’s up and running, but how long is that gonna take?”

But for server Jessica Montes at Aladdin Cafe, construction is not a big deal. Instead, she hopes it will create more foot traffic to her workplace.

“We do have a lot of customers that come in off of 39th Street, but parking is really scarce here,” Montes said. “Eventually, I think it would help the businesses on 39th Street.”