Kansas City is considering building an East-West Streetcar line that would run from the University of Kansas Health System to the east side of Kansas City, Missouri. 

There are 16 stops proposed for the streetcar that would run from KU Med down 39th Street to meet the Main Street Streetcar, then head east down Linwood to its final stop on the corner of Van Brunt and Linwood. The streetcar would operate at a frequency of 10-15 minutes during peak hours and 20-30 minutes during off-peak hours. 

The project is estimated to cost $560-$650 million and would take 9-10 years to complete. The east-to-west streetcar would be funded by a combination of federal, local, and private funds.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) says the new streetcar line is expected to have a number of benefits for Kansas City, including:

  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Improved air quality as the streetcar can hold 150 and runs on electricity
  • Increased economic development along the new streetcar line
  • Improved access to jobs, education, and healthcare
  • Enhanced connectivity between neighborhoods

The streetcar has been a popular tourist attraction, with the original line passing through some of Kansas City’s most visited destinations, including the Power & Light District, the Crossroads Arts District, and the River Market. The streetcar line is currently being extended south, passing through Westport and the Country Club Plaza before ending at the UMKC campus. 

The KCTA has been looking into an East-West Streetcar line since April of 2022, and it is still in the early stages of planning. The KCTA has held surveys about preferences and identified this route in their first phase of development. As part of the survey, participants said they prefer a streetcar line over more Max bus routes at a rate of 73% to 27%. 

The proposed 10-mile route would take riders from KU Med to Van Brunt.

KCATA provided 16 possible stops for the streetcar’s east-west route: 

  • State Line Road & W. 39th Street 
  • Wyoming & W. 39th Streets 
  • Clark Ave & W. 39th Street 
  • Broadway Blvd & W. 39th Street 
  • W. 39th and Main Streets 
  • Armour Blvd & Main Street 
  • Main Street & Linwood Blvd
  • Gillham Road & Linwood Blvd 
  • Troost Ave & Linwood Blvd
  • The Paseo & Linwood Blvd
  • Brooklyn Ave & Linwood Blvd 
  • Prospect Ave & Linwood Blvd
  • Indiana Ave & Linwood Blvd
  • Jackson Ave & Linwood Blvd
  • Lister Ave & Linwood Blvd
  • Van Brunt & Linwood Blvd

The proposed line still has open questions like whether to include street parking or a bike lane along portions of the route. The KCATA is still looking for public feedback on the proposed route and has a survey open for residents to take online, which will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1. Take the survey here surveymonkey.com/r/EWStreetcar.

Prior to joining The Community Voice, he worked as a reporter & calendar editor with The Pitch, writing instructor with The Kansas City Public Library, and as a contributing food writer for Kansas...

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