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Local businesses discuss one year with KC Streetcar

Posted at 5:34 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 18:34:12-04

This Saturday will mark one year since the KC Streetcar started running in downtown Kansas City.

“It's easy to go around,” KC resident Taylor Brown said. “It's fun to do stuff. It's fun to do play dates around there.”

Some nearby businesses reported issues in the weeks leading up to the launch. On Wednesday some businesses expressed their excitement with the streetcar now, and what it has done for the community.

City Diner had some issues when construction began. Employee Jessica Lopez said she has noticed a difference.

“Everything's pretty smooth right now, we're kind of working together,” Lopez said. “Working here for five years, business has been the same. I think for the community it has really bettered the community, it's given people access, you know from one place or another without having to deal with traffic during the weekend. So it's nice."

Molly McPheter, owner of the Roots&Branches hair salon in River Market, said although business has been the same she has seen change.  

“I think definitely when we see the streetcar go by, it's usually at full capacity and we really love seeing people utilize it,” McPheter said.

Since the streetcar has made its way to the area, both Lopez and McPheter said the biggest challenge has been parking.

“Parking has been a little crazy because everybody wants to get a jump on that first stop,” Lopez said.

“I think River Market's probably one of the only large capacity of free parking available for people to hop onto the streetcar,” McPheter said. “So some of our clients and workers have had trouble parking during the day. So I'd like to see more parking available for all of us.”

While they hope more parking becomes available, McPheter said she’s also excited about the possibility of expansion.

“I'm really eager and hope that it continues and moves to the Plaza or UMKC and really transitions the whole downtown area,” McPheter said.

KC Streetcar leaders said right now they are in the very beginning stages of looking at operational costs and what it would take to expand to UMKC.

They’re also throwing a birthday celebration for the streetcar on Saturday.