The $351 million KC Streetcar expansion officially broke ground with track construction.
On the morning of Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Kansas City came out to mark a transportation and infrastructure milestone of giant proportions. Together with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Mayor Quinton Lucas, the City of Kansas City, MO, KC Streetcar Authority, the KC Area Transportation Authority, and the KC Streetcar Constructors, marked the start of track construction on the southwest corner of Pershing Road and Main Street, the northern end of the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension. This is the start of the $351 million, 3.5-mile extension of the KC Streetcar system, which is estimated to take two and a half years to construct.
Following a line-up of speakers that included Nuria Fernandez, FTA Administrator, Mayor Lucas and UMKC Chancellor Dr. C. Mauli Agrawal, dignitaries and guests were invited to sign a commemorative piece of track rail to mark this milestone. Representatives from the FTA’s Region 7 office, the midtown community, and construction industry were also in attendance.
“Together, we are creating a positive impact on the everyday lives of people in this community by creating more mobility, reducing congestion and charting a course toward a cleaner future, with better air quality and healthier neighborhoods,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “These benefits are real, and they align with the Biden-Harris Administration’s values and priorities as we move toward energy independence.”
“I have met with Federal Transit Authority Administrator Fernandez in Washington, D.C. as part of Kansas City’s transit advocacy efforts, and am pleased to have her with us in Kansas City today for the Main Street Extension groundbreaking ceremony, as we celebrate putting the expansion project into full motion,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “I will continue advocating—on a local, state, and federal level—for our community’s transportation and infrastructure priorities, as Kansas City continues its work to expand the Streetcar, to provide Zero Fare Transit to all bus riders, and to complete our new state-of-the-art airport terminal,” continued Lucas.
The Main Street Extension project is not only a game-changer for Kansas City’s public transit scene but also in the jobs it will create. More than 340 jobs will be created as a result of the construction of this project. Once operational, the KC Streetcar system will be responsible for creating nearly 100 jobs in the sectors of transit operations, safety, and maintenance.
“The KC Streetcar Main Street Extension project will connect our city’s largest employment centers and elevate the function of our system from a downtown circulator to the spine of an improved regional transit system,” said Tom Gerend, Executive Director, KC Streetcar Authority. “Transportation infrastructure has shaped Kansas City’s landscape for the last 100 years and this transit strategy is a generational investment that puts a stake in ground that says that Kansas City is the place for people, jobs, and economic opportunities,” Gerend continued.
“The KC Streetcar has already been an incredible boon for downtown and now that economic development and growth is headed south all the way to UMKC,” said Fourth District at-Large Councilmember Katheryn Shields. “This is a great day for our fourth district residents, as well as all of Kansas City and I am happy to be a part of it.”
“We are excited to see the Kansas City Streetcar extend its services south by 3.5 miles! This historic and major infrastructure project has served millions of commuters and visitors in Kansas City with fare-free and convenient transportation. Connecting the downtown system to our residents and visitors of Midtown, Westport, the Art Museum District, the Plaza, and UMKC is a gamechanger for the 4th District to say the least. Thank you to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority for being our partners in this endeavor. Looking forward to proudly riding in 2025,” said Fourth District Councilmember Eric Bunch.
“Investing in public transportation is investing in mobility and opportunity for Kansas Citians—creating thousands of good-paying jobs along the way—and the extension of the KC Streetcar represents the next step in our vision to make all Kansas City public transportation free and available to all,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas.
The KC Streetcar Main Street Extension is a 3.5-mile extension of the KC Streetcar System that will connect the current southern terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City at 51st Street and Brookside Boulevard. The extension is fully funded with federal Capital Investment Grant funds and new local funding approved through the voter approved Transportation Development District.
The construction of the project is estimated to take two and a half years with passengers ready to ride in 2025. Construction is being led by the KC Streetcar Constructors, a joint venture between Herzog Contracting Corp. and Stacy and Witbeck and supported by Burns & McDonnell and JE Dunn Construction. The project is overseen by the joint partnership of the City of Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO), the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA) and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA).