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Voters approve renewal of 3/8-cent sales tax to fund RideKC's bus system

Ride KC Vote.jpeg
Posted at 9:46 PM, Nov 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 08:22:08-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voters signed off on renewing a 3/8-cent sales tax to fund the city's RideKC bus system Tuesday night during a special election.

Seventy-three percent of voters said yes to Question 1 and renewed the tax for 10 years. It will sunset in 2033.

“Thank you to the voters of Kansas City for once again renewing this critical transit tax to keep our buses rolling,” KCATA president and CEO Frank White III said in a written statement. “If there was ever any doubt about the broad-based community support for public transportation in Kansas City, it was eliminated by a margin of 73% yesterday.”

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) said the 3/8-cent sales tax funds 30 percent of the RideKC bus system in KCMO.

Voters first passed the sales tax in 2004. It was later renewed in 2008 for 15 years and was set to expire next March.

“We would like to thank our many supporters who worked on behalf of this ballot initiative, beginning with our labor partners ATU 1287,” White said. “Our union brothers and sisters, along with many other advocates, worked every day for the last few weeks ensuring people understood that failure was not an option.”

KCATA said that had Question 1 failed, the agency would've been forced to cut bus routes, in addition to the loss of more than 100 — mostly — union jobs.

The agency predicts that over the course of 10 years, $400 million will be generated from the tax to help fund RideKC.