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FAQS

The KC Streetcar is new and exciting! We’re looking to the future with the next step in RideKC and we’re sure you have some questions. Take a look at our FAQs for the information you’re looking for and if you still have questions, feel free to fill out our contact form.

Can I park on the streetcar route?

Yes.

The City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the KC Streetcar Authority have preserved parking along the streetcar route as per priorities set forth by those adjacent properties.

Parking on Main Street was a priority for the properties on the route and the City has recently widened some spaces as a result of public opinion.

The parallel space widths were set based on the available width between the face of the curb and the dynamic envelope of the streetcar. Because the rail alignment and the curb lines aren’t parallel throughout the alignment, those widths vary.

Widths are more uniform elsewhere in the city, but we have to be flexible to safely accommodate motorists and the streetcar on Main Street.

The varied parking widths are an attempt to preserve as much parking for businesses as possible. The alternate approach would be to set an arbitrary parking width requirement and eliminate any areas of parking that did not meet that width. We chose to listen to the businesses and preserve as much parking as we could.

How wide are the parking spaces along the streetcar route?

The parallel space widths were set based on the available width between the face of the curb and the dynamic envelope of the streetcar. Because the rail alignment and the curb lines aren’t parallel throughout the alignment, those widths vary.

Widths are more uniform elsewhere in the city, but we have to be flexible to safely accommodate motorists and the streetcar on Main Street.

The varied parking widths are an attempt to preserve as much parking for businesses as possible. The alternate approach would be to set an arbitrary parking width requirement and eliminate any areas of parking that did not meet that width. We chose to listen to the businesses and preserve as much parking as we could.

How much does it cost to ride the streetcar?

The KC Streetcar is free to ride, which means there is no fare to ride on the streetcar as it travels the 2 miles through the heart of downtown.

Can I bring my dog (or animal) onto the streetcar?

Service animals are permitted on the KC Streetcar as well as dogs that are within a small carrier.

How fast will the Streetcar travel?

It will run with traffic, so it will travel at traffic speeds. Streetcar vehicles are capable of traveling at speeds up to at least 45 miles per hour. It is unlikely the streetcar will reach those speeds in the Downtown environment.

Can I bring my bicycle on the streetcar?

Bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers (and other wheeled vehicles) are able to board and disembark from the middle car.

What are the KC Streetcar hours of operation?

The KC Streetcar will be the most frequent transit service in the region, with streetcars running every 10 minutes during peak weekday periods. During the remainder of the week, streetcars will run every 12 to 18 minutes.
Hours of operation are:

  • Monday – Thursday: 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
  • Friday: 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday – 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

What is a streetcar?

A streetcar is an electric, fixed-rail public transportation vehicle that uses a steel-tracked fixed path. It will run in existing street lanes, just like other vehicles. Streetcars are generally designed to serve shorter local trips rather than long commute-type trips.

How will the KC Downtown Streetcar work with the current bus system?

The KC Downtown Streetcar line was designed to complement the current bus system and is the next step in developing a more comprehensive transit system for the Kansas City region.

How many streetcars are there?

Kansas City will have a total of four streetcar vehicles.

How big is a KC Streetcar?

Each vehicle is 77 feet and 8 inches long; 78,000 pounds; and 12 feet tall.

What is the capacity of the KC Streetcar?

Each vehicle capacity is approximately 150 riders and is bi-directional (can run both directions). There is a combination of sitting and standing within the streetcar.

How many doors are on the KC Streetcar?

There are three “cars” in each streetcar vehicle, with 4 sets of doors (one on each end and two in the middle car).

Does the KC Streetcar have Wi-Fi access?

Not quite yet. There is free Wi-Fi along the streetcar route, thanks to the City of Kansas City, MO, and Sprint. Wi-Fi service on streetcars will occur during phase 2 of the Wi-Fi project.

How do I know what stop I am at?

Vehicles will offer audio and digital stop announcements.

How loud is the streetcar?

Streetcars are quiet. Pedestrians and bystanders are encouraged to be alert and unplug from electronic devices while crossing the streetcar tracks. Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Ready. Respect the Rail.

How long is the downtown streetcar route?

The route is 2.2 miles long and travels along Main Street in downtown Kansas City from the River Market to Union Station/Crown Center. The route also includes a loop around the City Market and runs on 3rd St on the north, Delaware on the west, 5th St on the south, and Grand on the east.

How many streetcar stops are there?

There are 16 streetcar stops, approximate 2-3 blocks apart. 13 of those have streetcar shelters and digital kiosks.

Why are the KC Streetcars numbered 801-804?

The Kansas City Public Service, which managed the streetcar system more than 50 years ago, had a total of 184 vehicles. These vehicles arrived onto the scene in three batches: the 501-585 series; the 701-724 series; and the 725-799 series. The new KC Streetcar vehicles, which are modern, sleek, climate-controlled and Wi-Fi enabled, are picking up the numbering where it left off more than 50 years ago. The new series will be the 801-804 series.

Will traffic slow down on Main Street?

The streetcar travels in the automobile lanes at travel speeds. There will be some delays when the streetcar stops to pick up and let passengers out. Main Street has been redesigned to include turn lanes at intersections and intersection operations have been planned to minimize delays. In addition, the adjacent streets (Walnut Street and Baltimore Street) have been converted from one-way to two-way streets to provide additional north-south capacity.

Will the streetcar receive priority signal coordination on Main Street?

The streetcar will operate like other vehicles on the road and will stop for red lights. If the streetcar is close to the intersection, the system may be able to keep the light green for a few extra seconds so the streetcar can pass through without stopping.

Are there cameras on the KC Streetcar?

Safety on the KC Streetcar is a high priority. Each vehicle is equipped with 16 cameras, both inside and outside the vehicle. These images are captured and transmitted to our operations center. There are monitors placed inside the Operators’ cab as well.

Can I continuously ride the KC Streetcar?

The KC Streetcar route does have an end terminus at Union Station.  When passengers travel south on Main Street, they will have to disembark and collect their belongings once at the Union Station stop. At that time, the streetcar operator will perform a sweep of the vehicle to make sure everyone is off and all is safe. Once complete, riders are able to get back on board if they choose.

Is there security on the KC Streetcar?

Safety on the KC Streetcar is a high priority. Each vehicle is equipped with 16 cameras, both inside and outside the vehicle. These images are captured and transmitted to our operations center. There are monitors placed inside the Operators’ cab as well. We are also partnered with the KC Police Department and the Downtown Council CID Ambassadors to serve as an extra set of eyes on the streetcars at certain times of the day/week for added security.

Can I park on the streetcar route?

On opening weekend, no. Due to the number of events happening throughout the city, and the anticipated crowds attending, no parking will be enforced on Main Street and on the south side of 5th Street during the opening weekend.

For details on parking during regular operating hours, please visit the KC Streetcar general FAQ page: http://kcstreetcar.org/about-streetcar/faqs/

How late will the streetcar run?

The Streetcar will run until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Regular operating hours are available here: http://kcstreetcar.org/about-streetcar/faqs/

Streetcar service will open officially at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 6. The KC Streetcar will begin operating at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 7.

What if I don’t want to ride the KC Streetcar and just look at it?

Due to the number of activities in Downtown KC and the excitement surrounding the streetcar opening, lines to ride the streetcar may be long during opening weekend. We encourage guests to get out and about and explore neighborhoods, businesses and the city.

A stationary streetcar WILL be available at Union Station for those who wish to take pictures and walk through the state-of-the-art vehicle.

Guests MUST disembark from the vehicle at Union Station and go to the back of the line to re-board to return northbound. The KCATA will be operating free Ride KC shuttles to help usher guests along the route as an alternate to waiting for the streetcar.

Can I bring my bicycle or dog on the streetcar?

Bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers WILL be allowed on the KC Streetcar however on opening weekend, bicycles will NOT be allowed in order to accommodate extra passenger capacity.

Service animals are permitted on the KC Streetcar as well as dogs that are within a small carrier.

Is the streetcar free to ride?

YES! Not only is opening weekend free, the KC Streetcar is free to ride all the time!

I have so many questions about the KC Streetcar, what am I forgetting?

For a full list of FAQs about the KC Streetcar during traditional operating hours and days, please visit: http://kcstreetcar.org/about-streetcar/faqs/

How long does the streetcar layover at Union Station?

The southern point of the downtown streetcar route is located at Union Station on Main Street.  Typically, layovers at that stop are 8-9 minutes. This allows all passengers to exit the streetcar, and the operators and other streetcar team members to walk the streetcar vehicle, picking up any trash and cleaning the area.

A layover at Union Station also allows the streetcar operators to evenly distribute/time streetcars on the route and keep to schedule.

How do I exit the streetcar?

Upon arriving at your destination, wait for the streetcar to come to a complete stop. Once stopped, press the circular green door button to open the streetcar doors.

Allow passengers to exit the streetcar before boarding.

If you plan to cross the street after exiting the streetcar, please use marked crosswalks.

When exiting the streetcar at the River Market North stop, please remember that doors open on the left side and once you exit the streetcar, turn right on the platform.

How is the KC Streetcar Funded?

The downtown KC Streetcar operating budget is comprised mostly of funds collected within the TDD. Those revenues include:

  • A sales tax not to exceed 1 percent on sales within the TDD boundary
  • A special assessment on real estate within the TDD boundary, with maximum annual rates as follows:
    • 48¢ for each $100 of assessed value for commercial property ($1,536 for each $1 million of market value)
    • 70¢ for each $100 of assessed value for residential property ($266 for each $200,000 of market value)
    • $1.04 for each $100 of assessed value for property owned by the City (which would mean a total annual City payment of about $810,000)
    • 40¢ for each $100 of assessed value for real property exempt from property tax, such as religious, educational, charitable, etc. property, but only on market value more than $300,000 and less than $50 Million.
  • A supplemental special assessment on surface pay parking lots within the TDD boundary (not garages and not free parking lots). The maximum rate for the supplemental special assessment on surface pay parking lots will be $54.75 per space per year.

How long does a Streetcar trip take?

The downtown Streetcar route is 2.2 miles and runs from Union Station on the south to the City Market (River Market area) on the north.  A full loop (Union Station – Union Station) takes approximately 27-30 minutes depending on traffic. A one way run (Union Station to the River Market North stop) takes about 15 minutes.

How is ridership counted?

The KC Streetcar Authority monitors and tracks daily ridership on board the KC Streetcar. Streetcar ridership, otherwise known as “Unlinked Passenger Trips,” is the national standard used by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for calculating usage on public transportation systems across the county.

 

FTA Definition of “Unlinked Passenger Trips” (UPT): The number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination.

 

KC Streetcar ridership, or UPTs, is calculated by Automated Passenger Counters (APC) located over each door of each streetcar vehicle. Passengers are counted as they board and exit the streetcars, and the data collected shows which stops are the most used and which hours of the day are the busiest.

 
The ridership data is downloaded daily and reviewed by a third-party for accuracy. During July 2016, members from the Ride KC team performed thirty additional manual passenger counts in order to check the APC system for accuracy. The conclusion of that activity was that the APC counts were 98.6% accurate, and were undercounting 1.4% of actual counts.