KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Streetcar Authority gave the green light Thursday for a study that would explore a possible extension west toward the University of Kansas Health System.
The possible one-mile extension would take the Streetcar west from Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, and follow W. 39th Street across the state line and into Kansas.
KC Streetcar staff says KUHS was among a group of organizations that reached out to explore the feasibility of the line.
KU Health System President and CEO Bob Page wrote a letter in June 2021 expressing support for the study, which could cost between $200,000 and $300,000. The KC Streetcar Authority will kick in $75,000 of the cost.
“The University of Kansas Health System is interested and supportive of an east/west route for the Kansas City Streetcar and/or other transit alternatives,” Page wrote in the letter. “We have what we consider a compelling case to have the west route come to 39th and Rainbow in Kansas City, Kansas.”
Page said KUHS would be willing to help pay and partner to fund the study.
In the letter, Page said KUHS is much more interested in continuing to build out facilities in support of patient care than to use those resources to park more vehicles on the campus.
"I think that Streetcar deal would be cool," said Bruce Curl who lives in the 39th Street district.
Some businesses along 39th Street endorse this idea.
"I think the Streetcar would be a great addition to 39th Street, I feel like everyone can benefit from it. 39th Street, as you can tell, everybody walks up and down the street to get anywhere, so I think it would be great," said Anthony Falcon, NobleMen’s Barber Lounge co-owner.
Others are a little more hesitant.
"How would that work? It sounds like they would need a magician," said Tom Wayne, co-owner of Prospero's Books. "Initially, it seems kind of improbable to me because of the size of the street."
Earlier this year, the authority gave similar approval for a study that would explore the feasibility of extending the Streetcar line across the Missouri River into North Kansas City.
The KC Streetcar’s current footprint between the River Market and Union Station is set to expand in the coming years, both north to Berkley Riverfront Park and south to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.