City of Kansas City Missouri
414 E. 12th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2011
Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis to Recommend Route and Type of Transit for Starter Line
The preferred route and type of transit for the downtown starter line will be the subject of the third and final open house for the Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA). 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 the public open house on Sept. 20, 2011, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Arabia Steamboat Museum (400 Grand Blvd.) in Kansas City, Mo. No formal presentations will be given.
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 that were evaluated, and the results of the detailed alternatives assessment that narrowed the AA's route (Grand Blvd. or Main St.), type of transit (streetcar or bus), and "no-build" alternatives to a single preferred alternative that describes one alignment and mode for the starter line plus a general strategy to fund construction, operation, and maintenance of it. 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. It 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. Funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), 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 preferred alternative. 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 supportâ€”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 Sept. 20 open house in the atrium of the Arabia Steamboat Museum anytime from 4 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
Steamboat Arabia Museum parking is available on the east side of the museum, in the River Market, and on cross streets that surround the market. Metro bus service is also available. A park-and-ride lot is located at the intersection of Third Street and Grand Boulevard. Please visit www.kcata.org to access bus schedules serving Arabia Steamboat Museum, or call the Regional Call Center at 816/221-0660 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
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). Every effort to meet reasonable requests will be made. 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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