KC residents looks to move expansion of KC streetcar forward

The first step in a grassroots effort to extend the streetcar starter line advanced today as a group of Kansas City residents organized by the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance submitted a petition to the Jackson County Circuit Court to pursue approval of a new Transportation Development District (TDD) to fund the $227 million project.

The petitioners include neighborhood and business leaders, as well as transit advocates. The lead petitioner is Gib Kerr, Vice President at Cushman Wakefield, a real estate service firm. Kerr also serves on the KCRTA Board of Directors.

 KCRTA raised funds from the private sector and solicited support from the corridor over the last year and a half. KCRTA, a member of the Missouri Public Transit Association, is 501(c)(3) and has been involved in all official efforts to expand public transportation. 

The proposed new TDD runs generally from the Missouri River to 53rd Street, and from State Line to Campbell Street, and is intended to eventually replace the existing downtown streetcar TDD that helped to fund the starter line. The new TDD proposes the same funding sources as the downtown streetcar TDD: a 1% additional sales tax within the entire TDD, and special assessments on property that would only apply to those now in the downtown streetcar TDD and property within approximately 1/3-mile of the line as it runs south of Union Station. The new TDD’s revenue sources would replace, not add to, those in the downtown streetcar TDD.

If the elections are successful, the City of Kansas City will still need to apply for federal funding and complete engineering and design (which was halted in 2014). All subsequent design, construction, and operations will be covered by the revenue collected in the new TDD, in addition to any federal grants. No City contribution to the new TDD is anticipated beyond the amount the City is already contributing for the downtown starter line. 

The Circuit Court Case Number is 1616-CV13710. It is anticipated that the Court will set a public hearing and a judicial hearing sometime late this summer.