borderless transit / borderless region

Streetcar Public Hearing — 9am, Thursday, Sept. 15

See this story for more information.


16th Circuit Court waives judicial hearing in streetcar case

On Aug. 19, the 16th Circuit Court held a status conference on the streetcar extension case and KCRTA asked the Court to forego the judicial hearing as permitted under the TDD Act when no one files an opposition in the proceeding.

Under such circumstances, the court can make its ruling based on the pleadings alone. The judge decided to do so.

The TDD Act expressly permits this when no opposition to the legality of the proposed district needs to be ruled upon by the Court. Considering that two prior courts have reviewed this same structure and finance plan before and found them to be lawful, we anticipate that this proposed district will be certified for voter consideration by the Court as were the prior proposals.

This only affects the judicial hearing that would have been held on Sept. 16. The Court will still hold the public hearing on Sept 15, as previously noticed. Assuming the Court certifies the district for voter consideration as anticipated, the Court would issue that order sometime after Sept. 15.


Save the date! 2016 Annual Meeting on Oct. 27

KCRTA’s Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27 at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, overlooking Main Street and Brush Creek.

RSVP on Facebook!

Stay tuned for more information!


UMKC/Midtown streetcar extension resources posted

Have questions about KCRTA’s efforts to extend the streetcar through Midtown to UMKC’s Volker Campus? Bookmark (and share) http://kcrta.org/streetcar for a map of the proposed funding district, a proposed timeline for in-district elections, and the Public Notice for Sept. 15 public hearing at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Got questions that haven’t been answered? Drop us a line at chairman@kcrta.org or check us out on https://twitter.com/KCRTA or https://facebook.com/KCRTA.


Private sector effort to extend streetcar to UMKC officially begins

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.

Kansas Citians said “show me”, and that’s just what happened: The City of Kansas City, in a public-private partnership with the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, launched the two-mile starter line to rave reviews and higher-than-expected ridership.

“We’re taking the highest-ranked component of the NextRail Study (http://nextrailkc.com) and moving it forward incrementally, closer to what we did with the starter line, and like the starter line, with a conservative financing plan” said Doug Stone, attorney at Lewis Rice, who is representing the petitioners.

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 is 501(c)(3) and has been involved in all official efforts to expand public transportation in the region, including an education campaign for the Jackson County Regional Rail Plan promoted by former County Executive Mike Sanders.

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 downtown 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 ⅓-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.

Assuming that the Circuit Court determines, as it has twice before, that the proposal meets the requirements of state law, voters in the new TDD can expect to participate in multiple elections — one to form the TDD, one to elect a board to oversee the TDD’s role in providing revenue for the project, and a final one to approve the sales tax and special assessments — starting late this year. The filing of this Petition starts the clock on a judicial and electoral process that will take more than a year, with even the first of the elections likely 5 or 6 months away.

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 August 2014 expansion election results showed strong support in this corridor supporting a realistic hope that this new effort will be approved,” said Matt Kauffman, KCRTA Chairman. “The higher than projected use of the downtown starter line — even on weekdays — is evidence that fixed rail transit has its place as part of an overall public transit system, and extension along Main Street, through midtown to UMKC, is the next logical step.”

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.

CONTACT:
David Johnson Vice Chair, Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance 816-336-9424 davekcmo@gmail.com
Doug Stone Attorney, Lewis Rice LLC 816-472-2539 dstone@lewisricekc.com


KC a Finalist For $40 Million Transportation Innovation Grant

Kansas City is one of seven finalists for a United States Department of Transportation grant for Smart City innovations. With KC’s focus on Smart City with the implementation of the streetcar, it is well-positioned for this opportunity.

https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-transportation-secretary-foxx-announces-seven-finalist-cities-smart-city-challenge


KC Streetcar Nears Operation

The Kansas City Streetcar has an opening day! Festivities are planned throughout the streetcar service area for the weekend of May 6-7, 2016. Details on the events will be published on a brand new website for the event: timetoridekc.org

KCRTA and its board have been proud to be involved in the implementation of the streetcar project and we look forward to seeing you downtown to celebrate this milestone in the future of Kansas City transit.


Steve Klika Named Transit Advocate of the Year

At its annual event at the Kansas City Streetcar vehicle maintenance facility, KCRTA named Johnson County Commissioner Steve Klika its Transit Advocate of the Year. Klika is the chairman of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority board and was instrumental in bringing Johnson County transit under the management oversight of the KCATA. This is a big step toward a borderless regional transit system — the likes of which KCRTA advocates for every day.

Congratulations to Steve!


RideKC Branding Appears Throughout KC

RideKC is the new regional brand for the Kansas City area transit system. Now, one site provides all of the information riders need to access services from multiple regional providers, all featuring the same branding. It’s an important part of building the vision of a regional transit system.

Find out more here: http://ridekc.org/planning/ridekc-vision