KC Streetcar Increases Frequency, Shortens Wait Times

While the talk lately has been focused on streetcar expansion, the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA) continues work behind the scenes to make improvements to the existing system downtown.


Recently, schedule adjustments were made that increase operating frequency and shortens wait times during the weekday mornings and evenings, and throughout the day on Sunday.  Service changes will increase the amount of time 10-minute headways are used, from 25 service hours of 10-minute frequency to 61 hours of 10-minute frequency with the new schedule. This is an increase of 144%.   What this means to streetcar passengers is more frequent arrivals, i.e. more streetcars, and less layover time when a streetcar sits at the Union Station streetcar stop.



The schedule enhancements are part of ongoing efforts by the KC Streetcar team to improve overall operational efficiency. These specific schedule changes are possible in-part due to modifications to traffic signal prioritization on the route and as well as adjustments to daily operational procedures. Both of these efforts have resulted in high levels of on-time-performance (OTP).


“We’ve learned many things in the nearly two years we’ve been in service,” said Tom Gerend KCSA executive director.  “By working closely with our partners at the City of Kansas City, Missouri, we’ve been able to make incremental traffic signal and operational improvements that have led to high levels of on-time-performance.  The adjustments will help us maximize the amount of streetcar service we can deliver with a three-car fleet,” continued Gerend.


A roundtrip streetcar ride with the new 10-minute service schedule is approximately 24 minutes, with a 6-minute layover at Union Station, for a total of 30 minutes. Under the previous schedule, these trips were 36 minutes in total. You can track the location of the streetcars in service on the KC Streetcar website at https://kcstreetcar.org/route/streetcar-tracker/.


In addition to improving operational efficiency, the KC Streetcar team has made safety a priority throughout the organization. The KC Streetcar Operations and Maintenance team, managed by contractor Herzog Transit, Inc., has a safety record of 650+ injury free days. For a transit system that operates seven days a week, including holidays, along with extended weekend hours, this is a major milestone for the team.