After months (some would say decades) of anticipation, Kansas City will once again have a downtown streetcar line. It opens Friday. You may have heard the buzz and the hype. You might have read about the delays and labor disputes. But now, really, all you care about is this question: when can I ride it?
Here's what you need to know about the Kansas City Streetcar's "Grand Opening" weekend:
When: Public rides along the streetcar's 2.2-mile downtown track begin at 11 a.m. Friday and will continue until 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Regular service resumes Saturday at 7 a.m and goes until 2 a.m. Sunday. Service then runs from 7 a.m-10 p.m. Sunday. (Check out the streetcar's regular schedule.) The streetcar doesn't have a fare, so you don't have to pay to ride.
Where: A public celebration outside Union Station kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday. (City dignitaries get the first official ride after that.) Then, it's a two-day party all along the downtown track. Music concert, carnival games, Royals watch parties, and fireworks shows are all part of the festivities.
Getting there: City officials are cautioning people from driving into downtown on Friday and Saturday. Crowds are expected (it's also First Friday in the Crossroads). RideKC is offering free bus service connecting to downtown Friday. Those so inclined are encouraged to bike, too.
Parking: If you do drive, there will be no on-street parking on Main Street Thursday through Saturday. There will be parking offered at several off-street garages in and around Crown Center and Bartle Hall. These are expected to fill up quickly.
The Kansas City Streetcar Authority offers answers to more FAQs at its website.
Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster and a reporter. You can follow him on Twitter @kcurkyle.