Streetcar expansion moves forward

The push to expand KC’s streetcar to UMKC moved forward last week with 19 candidates filing to run for positions on a new street car expansion board.

The special election to decide which seven candidates will oversee the expansion project will take place on Oct. 7.

Only residents living in the newly created streetcar taxing district, which voters approved early last month, will be allowed to cast ballots.

This next election comes as the second in a three part process for getting the expansion off the ground.

After voters elect members to serve on the streetcar expansion board, they’ll cast a final ballot to approve the specific sales and property taxes required to fund the project.

Current estimates predict the project could cost as much as $227 million dollars.

The third and final vote is not expected to take place until next year.

Seven of the 19 candidates who support the streetcar expansion are running as a slate. The other 12 candidates include both independent supporters and non-supporters.

Although elections for the streetcar expansion board take place next month, the lengthy approval process and large amount of federal funding required, push back the anticipated opening several years.

According to the project’s website, kcstreetcar.org, the new system is unlikely to open before 2023.

Still, students at UMKC are hopeful the project will go through.

“I would love to see the street car reach UMKC. Public transit is really important, and I think it would make a lot of students’ lives easier,” said sophomore Brian Bolton. “I wish it would be finished before I graduate, but even if it isn’t, the expansion will be nice for future students.”

 

sd6w8@mail.umkc.edu

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