borderless transit / borderless region

New streetcars arriving in Kansas City!

Image credit: City of Kansas City, Missouri

The second of eight shiny new streetcars arrived in Kansas City on April 30 as construction of the Main Street Extension inches closer to completion.

KCRTA sponsored the elections that created the larger Transportation Development District that is providing the local funding to match federal grants, which are covering the cost of the new vehicles. Once operational, the voter-approved TDD will support 100% of operating costs.

KCRTA is using funds reimbursed to us for the formation costs to further our regional funding strategy. This multi-county strategy could provide additional funding for more streetcar and MAX lines on both sides of the state line.

If you’re interested in sponsoring our work or joining as a member, click here.

Missouri generates over $4 billion annually in public transit revenue

The latest “Economic Impact of Missouri Transit” study from the Missouri Public Transit Association is out and confirms that public transit in the state generated $4 billion annually.


  • There are 32 transit providers in Missouri that collectively promote personal mobility in every single county by providing a total of 40.1 million rides annually. For some, transit is the sole means by which they can gain access to work, school, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores and other needed goods and services. Others have personal vehicles but like to use public transit because it offers a safer, more cost-effective and convenient means for getting to places for work or play.
  • Transit gets thousands of Missourians to and from their place of employment every day. It also directly employs more than 3,800 individuals, with an annual average salary of $86,400, and indirectly adds more than 22,000 jobs to the state each year.
  • Transit yields an overall economic impact of $4.05 billion annually, including $481 million in spending by transit riders. Over the last five years, transit agencies spent an average of $401 million annually on capital investments. The state government collects an estimated average of $51 million in annual taxes because of the direct and multiplier effects of transit.


Join us Dec. 14 on the Rock Island for Transit Oriented Drinks

Join us from 5:30 to 8pm on Thursday, Dec. 14 for drinks and light appetizers at our next Transit Oriented Drinks networking event. The location is Crane Brewing, which is located in downtown Raytown next to the Rock Island trail.


KCRTA honors Sunrise Movement, celebrates bus tax win at Annual Meeting

The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance celebrated the year in transit at its annual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, including the election of new board members and officers for 2024.

KCRTA also honored the local chapter of the Sunrise Movement as the ‘Jared Miller Transit Advocate of the Year’ for their Better Bus Campaign and efforts to renew the 3/8-cent sales tax that supports our bus system. This year’s award was renamed to honor Jared Miller, who passed away in 2019 and was an active member of the KCRTA board.

The evening concluded with a confirmed win at the ballot box — 73% of KCMO voters voted to renew the 3/8-cent sales tax to support existing RideKC bus service across the city for 10 years. The Alliance was involved in both the initial effort to pass the tax in 2003 and the 2008 renewal.

NOT PICTURED BELOW: Returning Members Bailey Waters and Alvaro Villagran.

Vote YES for Question 1 on Nov. 7

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, voters in Kansas City, Missouri will be asked to renew the 3/8-cent sales tax that supports approximately 30% of the current bus service in the city — including special paratransit services for those who are elderly or disabled. Currently these services are zero fare, providing a much-needed economic boost to households in need. Ballot language states:

Shall the City of Kansas City continue a city sales tax for the purpose of developing, operating, maintaining, equipping and improving a public bus transit system for Kansas City, pursuant to contract with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, as authorized by Section 94.605 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri at a rate of 3/8% for a period of 10 years?

It’s urgent that voters renew this tax well before it expires to avoid any gap in funding. KCMO funds the vast majority of bus service in the region. While more service is needed, this tax provides a baseline for future expansion as well as transportation support for the 2026 World Cup.

The editorial board of the Kansas City Star agrees.

Please vote YES for Question 1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7! If you’re unable to vote in person, early voting is available now. Check your local election board for details and sample ballots:

  • Kansas City Election Board –
  • Clay County Election Board –
  • Platte County Board of Elections –

2023 Annual Meeting & Nov. 7 Watch Party

Our 2023 Annual Meeting will be held 7-9pm Tuesday, Nov. 7 at Casual Animal Brewing in the Crossroads. This will also serve as the unofficial watch party for the KCMO bus sales tax renewal that’s on the ballot that day.

Thanks to our sponsor WSP!

Join us Sept. 12 at Chicken N Pickle

RSVP for this free event!

KCMO Bus Tax Renewal on November Ballot

Bowing to public pressure to avoid a revenue gap, the newly-seated City Council advanced the 3/8-cent citywide sales tax that supports bus service to the November 2023 ballot.

The original ballot language submitted by the Mayor’s office did not specify KCATA as the recipient or “bus” as the supported mode. Advocates asserted that there was no reason to dilute the language since there’s one regional provider for traditional bus service and it’s a bi-state government entity. Some feared redirection of funds for traditional bus service to other modes like streetcar or light rail, which the Mayor and City Manager have shown interest in with the impending World Cup in 2026.

If approved, the tax would continue for another 10 years. The last renewal was for 15 years, and was initially approved in 2003 for five years.

Given rising labor costs, it’s unlikely any growth in KCMO sales tax revenue would lead to expanded service. Our focus remains on regional funding to grow transit service — to increase access to jobs and address our changing climate.

Stay tuned here for information about how to support the renewal.

KCMO Transit Sales Tax Delayed

The City Council of Kansas City has run out the clock on putting a renewal of the 3/8-cent sales tax on the November ballot. This puts the revenue from the sales tax at risk since the next available election in April 2024 would occur shortly after the tax expires on March 31, 2024, leading to a potential gap in revenue that currently supports almost half of the city’s existing bus service.

The other transit sales tax (1/2-cent) was authorized by the Missouri Legislature and no longer has a sunset. A portion of the 1/2-cent tax is dedicated by law to KCATA’s capital needs (buses, facilities), with another portion being directed to the streetcar’s Transportation Development District.

Ordinance 230446 currently states that the target election date for the 3/8-cent renewal is August 8, 2023, which has obviously passed as of this posting. The deadline for the November 2023 ballot is August 29, 2023. Since the ordinance does not appear on this week’s Transportation Infrastructure and Operations committee meeting agenda, there will not be sufficient time to conduct a typical TIO hearing (the only opportunity for formal public comment), advance the ordinance to full council, and get full council approval before August 29. The Mayor and Council do have options to expedite ordinances, but there’s no indication that’s in the plan.

On top of all this, the TIO commitee has new leadership with the new Council that will be seated on August 1, 2023. Contact new TIO Chair Kevin O’Neill and Vice Chair Melissa Robinson here:

Chair David Johnson appears on KMBC to discuss regional funding and cooperation

KCRTA Chair David Johnson appeared on Sunday’s episode of KMBC’s “Heart of the Matter” public affairs program to discuss current governance and funding challenges in the Northland that led to changes with bus service in Gladstone. Watch here: