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KC Streetcar is planning an east-west route with stops along Linwood, Main and 39th Street

Photos shows the front of a bright pink streetcar sits on a roadway. It is wrapped with colors and logos from the popular "Barbie" movie. Another streetcar, painted blue sits behind it. One decal reads "Dream Streetcar."
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Officials are in the early stages of planning an east-west streetcar line in Kansas City.

Planning for a future East-West streetcar line is still in the early stages. But the possible line would have sixteen stops connecting Van Brunt Boulevard to the University of Kansas Health System.

Ride KC and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority announced 16 possible streetcar stops along a future east-west line. The stops would travel west from Van Brunt Boulevard along Linwood Boulevard before turning south on Main Street and west on West 39th Street to end at the University of Kansas Health System.

Funding has yet to be finalized for the route, but planners said a Transportation Development District, like what is used for the current Main Street Streetcar route, is not likely. Tom Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, said a multi-county funding plan is the most likely option.

“There's momentum around regional county-wide efforts that could build out a true regional system,” Gerend said. “At the end of the day, we're talking about one corridor — it's part of a big regional plan and how do we advance not just this, but the bigger picture.”

The potential stops would be about a quarter to a half mile apart and are planned to connect with other transit lines in the area, like the Main Street streetcar route and bus lines.

A map shows a proposed streetcar route and its connections with other transit routes and how dense the stops are.
Kansas City Streetcar Authority
The proposed East-West streetcar route would connect with existing transit routes, including a MAX bus line and the North-South streetcar route. People can give feedback on the proposed stops until December 1.

The potential stops are:

  • Van Brunt Boulevard at Linwood Boulevard
  • Lister Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • Jackson Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • Indiana Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • Prospect Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • Brooklyn Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • The Paseo and Linwood Boulevard
  • Troost Avenue and Linwood Boulevard
  • Gillham Road and Linwood Boulevard
  • Main Street and Linwood Boulevard
  • Armour Boulevard and Main Street
  • West 39th Street and Main Street
  • Broadway Boulevard and West 39th Street
  • Clark Avenue and West 39th Street
  • Wyoming Street and West 39th Street
  • State Line Road and West 39th Street at the University of Kansas Health System

A study into a potential east-west transit corridor began in April of last year and includes the governments of Kansas City, Missouri and Wyandotte County, Kansas; the University of Kansas Health System; the Kansas City Streetcar Authority and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.

Based on public input, organizers determined that 73% of respondents preferred a streetcar line to a MAX rapid bus line. Organizers did not share the demographics of participants in the study.

At the presentation, the planners presented six possible route configurations along West 39th Street and Linwood Boulevard. All would include shared-use lanes between cars and the streetcar, like on the current Main Street route. Options include adding bike lanes, removing street parking, and building platform stations in the center of the road.

Streetcar-only lanes are so far being considered along Linwood Boulevard but nowhere else on the corridor, due to what planners called the “current function and characteristics” of the other streets involved.

The east-west streetcar corridor will not be ready by the 2026 World Cup, and planners stressed that they are still in the early stages of planning for the route. The streetcar extension along Main Street currently being built will have taken 10 years to complete from start to finish by the time it opens in 2025. Gerend said the long planning and construction times are important to plan for Kansas City’s future.

“At the forefront of our work is what should our system look like in 2030 and 2040 and 2050,” Gerend said. “What is the future of Kansas City we're building and what are the things we need to do today to get us there? So, very much a longer-term proposition.”

Organizers will now move forward to an environmental review, preliminary engineering, further public engagement and working to secure funding for the route both locally and federally.

The public can take a survey on the proposed stops until December 1.

When news breaks, it can be easy to rely on officials and people in power to get information fast. As KCUR’s general assignment and breaking news reporter, I want to bring you the human faces of the day’s biggest stories. Whether it’s a local shop owner or a worker on the picket line, I want to give you the stories of the real people who are driving change in the Kansas City area. Email me at savannahhawley@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @savannahhawley.
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