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Sanders Pushes To Put Transit Plan On August Ballot

Jackson County government

A lot more people in the Kansas City area could be voting on a mass transit plan as soon as this August. 

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders has been working on a plan that would use existing freight lines to take commuter trains from the river market east through Independence, Blue Springs, and all the way to Oak Grove.  Another line would head from River Market southeast to the Truman sports complex, Raytown and Lee’s Summit.

Sanders told KCUR's Up to Date he’ll know if he can reach an agreement with the railroads and take the issue to voters by early April.

“And my commitment has always been that without specific construction prices, specific right always, specific contracts signed, I don’t want to put this on the ballot,” says Sanders.

The projected cost is $650 million which would be paid for by a one cent sales tax.

To cut that bill, Sanders says Jackson County needs to act now to get federal funding.

“If we don’t have a plan in hand in the next eight, nine, or ten months, the odds are that money is going to be gone and it’s not going to come back in the foreseeable future.  And anything we would do would be self-funded,” says Sanders.

The overall plan also includes buses and trails in addition to commuter rail.

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