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KC Light Rail Will Carry Heavier Burden

KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck
Missouri Suburban leaders set their sights. Shown is phase one of a working document. A network of fast buses would be a rapid transit priority.


Gladstone,MO – Suburban Government Leaders from Missouri metro cities and counties are departing from the Kansas City rapid transit, light rail plan and are taking their own direction. A third mass meeting of mayors has defined their stance. The project initially proposed by Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser will have to go it alone, at least in it's infancy.
The first two regional meetings included dozens of participants. The third, at Gladstone Community Center was sparsely attended by elected and appointed representatives.
Leaders from Clay, Platte and Jackson Counties have a consensus opinion that notes existence of two highly integrated initiatives,not in competition but complementary. However, theirs is vastly different from the startup light rail promoted by the Kansas City mayor, heading for an apparent November vote. The suburban model is for rapid buses. Raytown Mayor David Bower says the initial proposal is for rapid transit buses to get harried drivers off of I-70 and save gasoline money.
Light rail? Bower says, perhaps later. While Kansas Citians may vote on a light rail tax initiative in November, Bower says most suburban mayors don't want to commit to any date for theirs.

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