City of Kansas City Missouri
414 E. 12th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2011
Second Open House Scheduled for the Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis
Modern streetcars, expanded bus service/Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and "no-build" alternatives are being studied as part of the Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA), which will define a starter line for an expanded regional transit system. The Partnership Team, consisting of the city of Kansas City, Mo., the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), and Jackson County, Mo., is holding a public open house to discuss the modes and two alignment alternatives for downtown during the August 23 Regional Transit Alliance (RTA) Streetcar Party. The open house will be held from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of Union Station (30 W. Pershing Road) in Kansas City, Mo. No formal presentations will be given. The RTA is hosting the Streetcar Party from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Union Station to give a "sneak peek" at the type of streetcar and bus alternatives currently under consideration through the Downtown Corridor AA.
During the open house the public will be able to review project exhibits that explain the purpose and need for the Downtown Corridor AA, mode and alignment alternatives under evaluation, and the results of the initial evaluation process used to narrow the AA's seven alignment alternatives to two. Exhibits will also explain a more detailed analysis that will be applied over the next few weeks to determine a single alignment and mode alternative for the downtown starter line. Representatives from the Partnership Team, along with consultant team members, will be on hand to answer questions and discuss issues and/or concerns.
The Downtown Corridor AA that is currently underway will conclude at the end of this year. Funded by a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant, the AA will identify the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for a downtown fixed-guideway transit solution, and a viable plan to fund the construction, operation and maintenance of the line as a first step toward implementation. The Downtown Corridor AA focuses on transit options in a narrow two-mile corridor running from the River Market on the north, through the Central Business District and the Crossroads areas to Union Station and Crown Center on the south. The study area was approved for the FTA grant application by Kansas City, Mo., City Council resolution as a corridor that will better connect our major activity and employment centers, and elevate the quality and function of our regional transit system.
Previous studies examined the feasibility of downtown light rail or streetcar transit services, but did not succeed in securing voter approval for a reasonable, single starter project or a feasible financial plan to pay for capital, operations and maintenance. This AA will build on previous efforts, including MARC's regional Smart Moves transit plan and ongoing regional rail planning, and will ultimately select both the type of transit for downtown, as well as the route it should follow.
The preferred alternative will be financed by sources other than the current dedicated transit sales taxes, and without sacrificing existing transit services. An important component of the Downtown Corridor AA is development of a reasonable capital and operations financing plan to secure funding to implement the LPA. The financing plan potentially may be used to apply for federal funds through New Starts, Small Starts, or other federal programs. Creative leveraging of private funding options, public/private partnership options, and federal grant opportunities will be explored. Ultimately, the preferred financing strategy will be one with great local support â€” voted on not through a city-wide initiative, but through a more downtown-focused approach to invest in strengthening the downtown Kansas City economy through this project.
The consultant team for the Downtown Corridor AA is led by HDR, and supported by Nelson/Nygaard; Polsinelli Shughart; Patti Banks Associates; HG Consult, Inc; Burns & McDonnell; and Architectural and Historical Research. The project schedule is aggressive, with the goal of making recommendations by fall and concluding with the Final AA Report in January 2012. Because of the diverse target audiences who will participate in the planning process, the Partnership Team will work diligently to engage many stakeholder groups and the general public to obtain their input at key project milestones.
For more information, attend the August 23 open house in the Grand Hall of Union Station anytime from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Visit MARC's Smart Moves website at www.kcsmartmoves.org for materials and updates on the Downtown Corridor AA, as well as other regional studies. For additional information, you may also contact:
City of Kansas City, Missouri
Assistant City Manager
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
Mid-America Regional Council
Tom Gerend, Assistant Director of Transportation
The Union Station parking garage is located on the west side of the building. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes. Each half hour thereafter is $1 for up to 2.5 hours. Parking 2.5 hours to 8 hours is $5. More than 8 hours of parking is $10 per day. Metro bus service is also available. Please log on to www.kcata.org to access schedules serving Union Station, or call the Regional Call Center at 816-221-0660.
Please notify the Mid-America Regional Council at (816) 474-4240 at least 48 hours in advance if you require special accommodations to attend this meeting (i.e., qualified interpreter, large print, reader, hearing assistance). We will make every effort to meet reasonable requests. MARC programs do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color or national origin, according to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For more information or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, see www.marc.org/transportation/title_vi.htm, or call 816-474-4240.
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