The project team at KC Streetcar is hopeful the planned Main Street Extension to University of Missouri-Kansas City, will be funded with a grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts Capital Investment Grants Program.
The team, consisting of the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA), the KC Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the city of Kansas City, Mo., submitted the formal application to FTA the week of Sept. 3 seeking $151 million dollars in federal funding and inclusion in the federal 2020-year budget to support the estimated $316 million-dollar project.
KCSA explains that both federal and local funding will be needed to move the extension project forward and notes that local funding was approved by the voters in the establishment of the Main Street Rail Transportation Development District (TDD). TDD will provide $164 million toward the project, making the funding split 52 percent local funding and 48 percent federal (should the grant be approved).
The estimated cost of the project was updated following project development activities that occurred during the summer. Total project cost for the 3.6-mile route from Union Station to 51st Street is currently estimated at $279 million in 2018 dollars, and $316 million when inflating costs to 2023 dollars, the planned year of opening and accounting for project contingency.
“We feel strongly that our New Starts federal grant submission will compete well with projects across the country based on our merits and the proven success of the downtown starter line,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of KCSA. “Approved TDD funds will cover the local funding needed to move this project forward, in addition to creating a sustainable source of revenue for ongoing operations and maintenance.”
KCMO will serve as the project sponsor and grantee for the New Starts program and will oversee design and construction for the streetcar expansion project. The KCSA and KCATA will serve as partners through this process as well as design, construction and operations.