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Streetcars Off To Fast Start

City of Kansas City
Photo illustration of a streetcar operating southbound on Main Street at 19th Street.

The Kansas City city council got off to a running start on getting a downtown streetcar running Thursday, displaying a unity of spirit on having streetcars running by 2015 as promised.

The day after the announcement that tax increases to pay for the downtown streetcar line had passed, the city council announced that an Omaha's HDR engineering firm will do the design work, allocated 3.6 million dollars for the design phase, and approved issuing 30 million dollars worth of bonds to underwrite the construction.

Russ Johnson, who has spearheaded the project emphasized emphasized the importance of getting an early start.  For example, he said, it will take about two years to get the rolling stock.  "Yyou can't go down to the streetcar store and buy one," he added.

Johnson told his council colleagues that the design team will have its first recommendations on what kind of streetcars to buy next month.

He also said the streetcar line is just step one, and plans are already being laid for its first expansion.



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