Kansas City Streetcar Authority, city leaders celebrate 1 millionth ride

KC Streetcar marks its 1 millionth ride
Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 23:24:12-04

The KC Streetcar Authority and city leaders celebrated the success of the new transportation system on Thursday, almost a week after the 1 millionth ride was recorded.

According to the KC Streetcar Authority, the 1 millionth Streetcar ride was recorded on October 7 around lunch time.

The celebration featuring music, beer, and games on Thursday came as possible expansion of the Streetcar system continues to be discussed.

Numbers recorded by Automated Passenger Counters may be crucial moving forward, as possible expansion may bring the Streetcar to areas like Westport and the Plaza.

Each recording device is placed over all eight doors on a Streetcar and counts when a rider enters and leaves.

KC Streetcar Authority Communications Manager Donna Mandelbaum said the APCs will provide important information for the Streetcar's future.

"It can track who's boarding and who's exiting the Streetcar, at each stop and by the hour," she explained. "Having this data is good to let us know how many cars would we need if we had a 7-mile system or 8-mile system."

Some have questioned how the Streetcar was able to reach the mark so quickly, but Mandelbaum explained that the devices provide precise calculations and are checked by a third party.

"It's within 1.5 percent accuracy with the system undercounting," she said.

According to statistics recorded by APCs, the Streetcar handles a daily average of 6,600 people, almost three times what city leaders initially projected.

With possible expansion on the horizon, many riders 41 Action News spoke to on Thursday welcomed the idea.

"I think that's a good idea," said Betty Guinn, who was riding on the Streetcar with her young grandson. "I think it should go down to at least Westport if not the Plaza."

Other riders mentioned how expansion could help bring more people to downtown areas.

"I think it's great because all the college students are down [near the Plaza], so it will give them a chance to come to the city easier if they don't have a car," explained Meaghan Parsons.

Statistics from the APCs showed that Union Station and City Market were the most popular stops over the last five months. 

Lunch hours proved to be the busiest times for ridership.

Next week, the KC Streetcar Authority may announce plans to officially commission a study looking into plans to expand the Streetcar system.



Tom Dempsey can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter:

Follow @KCTomDempsey

Connect on Facebook: