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Voters Take Final Step In Proposed Kansas City Streetcar Extension

Sophia Tulp
KCUR 89.3
The Jackson County Courthouse collected ballots in the proposed Kansas City, Missouri, streetcar extension. Tuesday was the last day to vote.

After 5 p.m. Tuesday, certain voters in Kansas City, Missouri, won't be able to weigh in on whether to effectively extend the streetcar route to the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

The ballot, which asks voters to approve a 1 percent sales tax to raise money for the extension, is the last and deciding factor in the three-step process that aims to double the length of the existing route on Main Street.

David Johnson with the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance said nearly 5,000 ballots were mailed out to taxpayers living along the Transportation Development District (TDD), which stretches from State Line Road to Campbell Street and the Missouri River to 53rd Street.

He said he expected, based on the two previous elections for the extension, about 10 to 12 percent of the eligible voters would participate. There were two ways to vote: Mail in the ballot, or hand-deliver it to the Jackson County Courthouse or the Connect KC campaign office on Gilham Road, where it'd be notarized as Missouri law requires.

The first election, which was in August, approved the boundaries of the TDD, and in October, voters elected a board of directors for the TDD. 

The southern extension would add over three miles to the route that now runs along Main Street from River Market to Union Station. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2020 or 2021, costing about $227 million in all.

Election results will be announced on June 20.

Sophia Tulp is a KCUR news intern. Follow her on Twitter @sophia_tulp.

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