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Streetcar celebrates 5 million rides

Posted at 3:07 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 19:36:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—This past weekend, the KC Streetcar passed the five-million ride mark.

“The popularity is still there and so we continue to grow with it,” Donna Mandelbaum, communications director for the Kansas City Streetcar Authority said.

The milestone is happening in less than 2 and a half years of service.

It's so successful they’re buying two more streetcars, giving the city six.

While there isn’t a fare for passengers, ridership is measured in a unique way.

“We have automated passenger counters above every door of every streetcar and it counts when someone gets on and leaves that streetcar so it’s counting their trip,” Mandelbaum said.

But since the arrival of the streetcar there are now even more transportation options.

“People are definitely getting in the way of the streetcar,” Cody VanHooser, a scooter rider said.

The KC Streetcar Authority told 41 Action News some of their operators have seen people on Birds and Lime scooters riding the streetcar tracks.

“I have seen a couple of scooters try to beat it so it’s becoming kind of a race like alright who is faster, the streetcar or the scooters?,” VanHooser said.

“Those tires can get stuck on the tracks just like bicycles so we ask if you can please use alternative routes or designated bicycles lanes,” Mandelbaum said.

The milestone comes as the streetcar authority is launching a new campaign later this month called “Respect the Rail”.

While the scooters are allowed on the streetcar, they can’t behind left on the streetcar itself or at the at the stops.

“Since they are heavier it’s harder to move and those people who have to get on and off the streetcar do have to maneuver around those,” Mandelbaum said.

Because of popular demand, streetcar shelters will be installed at the North loop stops at 7th and main street.

The two new streetcars will be delivered by mid-2019.