borderless transit / borderless region

Black Lives Matter

The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance supports the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize our own failures to adequately address issues that perpetuate systemic racism within our own organization and within our community.

Color-blindness is not an appropriate or adequate lens through which to view public transit or transportation advocacy, and we vow to acknowledge and confront inequities in ways we have failed to do so in the past.

Our region’s failures to keep our citizens safe from traffic violence disproportionately impact black communities. We are dedicated to pushing for Vision Zero, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths.

Without dedicated funding for transit on a regional level, access to jobs and opportunity is imperiled. Our black neighbors are most dependent upon transit to bridge this gap, making this a serious issue of equity that must be acknowledged. Further, we will fight for zero fare transit to ensure access for all.

We condemn the senseless murder of Mr. George Floyd and many others at the hands of the police who are sworn to serve and protect them. Acknowledging this damaged trust, we encourage our region’s transit agency partners to examine their policies around security and their relationships with police to ensure that everyone feels welcome on transit.

Black Lives Matter. Together, we can build a transportation system that reaffirms that.

Just say yes to “Zero Fare” transit

KCATA CEO Robbie Makinen has been making waves with a proposal to eliminate the fare on local bus routes as a way to increase ridership and provide a more equitable transportation system.

Read more here:

KCTV5: KCATA looking to make bus services free

The Pitch: Could Kansas City become the first major U.S. city with a free transit system?

KCUR: The Head Of Kansas City’s Bus System Says Public Transportation Should Be Free

2018 Transit Advocate of the Year: Linden Street Partners

L to R: KCRTA Chairman David Johnson presents Linden Street Partners principals Andrew Ganahl and Scott Richardson with the Transit Advocate of the Year Award for their work on transit-oriented development.

Leaders in building projects that are oriented around transit, Linden Street Partners’ 1914 Main building was one of the first to break ground on the new streetcar line. A visionary project, it opened two months before the streetcar carried its first passenger.

This $8 million development replaced a surface parking lot and was the first new residential construction in the Crossroads in at least 20 years. Because its location in a walkable and transit-rich location gives tenants cost-saving options, it was built with only 27 parking spaces.

Development design from the ground up with transit in mind will have a huge role in building the efficacy of our city’s transit system. KCRTA was proud to recognize the role of Linden Street Partners in moving this vision forward.

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 ( 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.

David Johnson Vice Chair, Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance 816-336-9424
Doug Stone Attorney, Lewis Rice LLC 816-472-2539

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.

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:

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: