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KCATA talks about study on intercity rail system

Intercity rail proposal
Posted at 5:39 PM, May 19, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has applied for a $500,000 federal grant to study a possible intercity rail system for the Kansas City area.

“This is a logical next step to begin to study of how could we do rail throughout the region with the world looking at us, with people coming to Kansas City from around the world who have experienced world class transit," said Frank White III, president and CEO of the KCATA.

White said KCATA's grant process includes three steps beginning with a study and planning, followed by examination of that study and finished with implementation.

The transit leader told reporters even if he had the money, a metro wide rail system wouldn't be ready in time for the World Cup in 2026.

White pointed to transit systems like DART in Dallas and RTD in Denver as examples of what they're looking at.

Under KCATA's proposal, the rail system would stretch west to east from Topeka to Independence and south to north from Olathe to KCI.

Traveler Dawn Lassiter from Olathe like the idea of rail as an alternative to driving.

“It would be a huge convenience for us because then we wouldn’t have to park and leave our car," Lassiter said. "We wouldn’t have to deal with the traffic. We could just grab our bags and head on up and relax on our way to our vacation or wherever we’re going."

Eddie Russell from downtown Kansas City also likes the idea of a rail system.

“I think it would be a much easier experience for me," Russell said. "I wouldn’t have to do the parking. I wouldn’t have to pay more parking."

Traveler Raghu Reddy from Overland Park said this is a good time for the area to embrace something new.

“We got a new airport, hopefully we can see some new ideas and ventures in the near future," Reddy said.