KCMO Downtown Streetcar

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GRID
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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by GRID » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:44 pm

mykn wrote:
flyingember wrote:As ridership nears 4 million total rides it's become clear the financial model picked is a huge success for users, businesses and the city as a whole.

It has improved community interactions, as people who never would have met otherwise had a chance to talk to each other.

That's nearly 4 million times people have chosen to not drive from parking lot to parking lot and walked somewhere. This provides health benefits to the individual.

To the toy train and the many benefits it provides!
Has anyone actually studied why our streetcar is so much more successful than lines in other cities? I would bet you're right that the funding mechanism (more specifically, free rides) is the reason.
Coming from somebody that travels a lot and has used all the new streetcar systems, I think it's mostly because it's free, but also because it's so easy to understand. It's a simple straight alignment. It does not zigzag all over the place and it just makes it super user friendly.

It probably doesn't matter to ridership, but I think KC has the most attractive modern streetcars in the country. Even cincy's which are the same cars are too busy with colors and ad wraps. I hope KC keeps their streetcars clean and does not wrap them with ads. They look really modern, clean and nice.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by KCPowercat » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:21 pm

Not splitting the track was the smartest idea ever. Good job Dave.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by KCDowntown » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:05 pm

KCPowercat wrote:Not splitting the track was the smartest idea ever. Good job Dave.
I'll second that - when they were planning phase 1 I had wanted the route to be more of a loop. Having it run down the same street works so much better.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by chingon » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:14 pm

grovester wrote:
flyingember wrote:
grovester wrote:Will be curious to see Milwaukee's numbers, as they will have a fare.
Atlanta provides some lessons.

The first five months of 2017 they had 200,000 riders. We had almost 800,000
https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/6/9/157 ... ety-issues
Right, I'm aware of the general connection between fares and ridership.

I'd like to see Milwaukee's as they are more of a peer city in population, weather and state of current transportation levels.
I don’t know, Milwaukee has much higher density, and a lot better or at least more used transit than we do. And it’s weather is quite a bit different, too. Milwaukee kind of disappears in the winter, then suddenly, for the month of summer it seems like Chicago.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by JBmidtown » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:45 pm

Lol “the month of summer” too real.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by grovester » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:06 pm

chingon wrote:
grovester wrote:
flyingember wrote: Atlanta provides some lessons.

The first five months of 2017 they had 200,000 riders. We had almost 800,000
https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/6/9/157 ... ety-issues
Right, I'm aware of the general connection between fares and ridership.

I'd like to see Milwaukee's as they are more of a peer city in population, weather and state of current transportation levels.
I don’t know, Milwaukee has much higher density, and a lot better or at least more used transit than we do. And it’s weather is quite a bit different, too. Milwaukee kind of disappears in the winter, then suddenly, for the month of summer it seems like Chicago.
Closer than Tuscon and Atlanta!

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by miz.jordan17 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:07 pm

chingon wrote:
grovester wrote:
flyingember wrote: Atlanta provides some lessons.

The first five months of 2017 they had 200,000 riders. We had almost 800,000
https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/6/9/157 ... ety-issues
Right, I'm aware of the general connection between fares and ridership.

I'd like to see Milwaukee's as they are more of a peer city in population, weather and state of current transportation levels.
I don’t know, Milwaukee has much higher density, and a lot better or at least more used transit than we do. And it’s weather is quite a bit different, too. Milwaukee kind of disappears in the winter, then suddenly, for the month of summer it seems like Chicago.
I don't know that their transit is better than KC's, though. Since I've moved to Chicago, I've been up to Milwaukee several times, and honestly it seems way less attractive/user friendly than the new RideKC branding and routes. They do have a larger population than Kansas City, but sometimes it feels like its roads are more of a ghost town than KC's. But you are right, during the summer, especially during Summerfest, it completely transforms.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by DaveKCMO » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:11 am

KCPowercat wrote:Not splitting the track was the smartest idea ever. Good job Dave.
Thanks. It wasn't easy keeping everyone focused on that, especially that last minute push by DST to divert to Wyandotte. Ugh. Could you imagine?

I do regret encouraging the River Market loop (first cut of the plan was up Delaware to 3rd and back), but we've done a good job getting through there on almost all trips except busy market Saturdays.

Very few people are pushing for diversions on the Main Street extension. We pretty much squelched the "OMG you must serve Broadway & Westport!" crowd years ago, going so far as to codify "Main Street" in the new TDD name.

;-)

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by shaffe » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:12 pm

Not that it should be a priority right now, but has anybody ever considered a circular rail line on 10th/13th and Washington/Charlotte? It would be within a block of two current streetcar stops on the south side and one block of a stop on the north side while connecting Municipal Auditorium/Bartle Hall, Quality Hill, several employers (including DST), the library, several more employers, east village, the govt district, the new transit plaza on Charlotte, more government buildings, the Sprint Center, and P&L. I don't know much about transit planning but I think that would be a pretty popular line. Even if it was just a single track I imagine the entire loop would be about a 15 minute ride?

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by shinatoo » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:29 pm

No loops, please. Makes things less than super simple and we have seen that super simple drives ridership.

But it's a good idea in general.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by flyingember » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:55 pm

shinatoo wrote:No loops, please. Makes things less than super simple and we have seen that super simple drives ridership.

But it's a good idea in general.
Portland built one and gets 2.2x the ridership KC does (combining both counter and clockwise lines)
It's 4.4 miles in one direction, or twice the ridership.

So it shows that it's not the simplicity of the line, it's directness of service.  The Portland loop is made up of straight, direct routes.

A line that loops downtown could work well if done right

Why not 8th and 18th, Broadway and Holmes? Brings a train close to all the bus terminal points.  Copy the Portland idea that two trains run in circles counter and clockwise and coming from midtown you can transfer to two other routes to connect into most of downtown easily. Between the three lines most of the core of downtown would be within 3 or 4 blocks of track.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by ToDactivist » Thu May 03, 2018 11:44 am

why not jog over @ Westport Road and go up Nichols? Solves Westport, Hopsital and better Plaza access???
Last edited by ToDactivist on Thu May 03, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu May 03, 2018 11:56 am

ToDactivist wrote:why not jog over @ Westport and go up Nichols? Solves Westport, Hopsital and better Plaza access???
Broadway ridership pales compared to Main, and you’d have to jog back to get to UMKC.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by flyingember » Thu May 03, 2018 12:39 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
ToDactivist wrote:why not jog over @ Westport and go up Nichols? Solves Westport, Hopsital and better Plaza access???
Broadway ridership pales compared to Main, and you’d have to jog back to get to UMKC.
People here discussed basically every alternative to going down Main, making the case for each. The summary is it's not a bad route per se but there's nothing about detouring at any point along the way (Pershing, 31st, Linwood, 39th, Westport Rd) that makes for a better route than staying on Main.

I absolutely can see a future route on Nichols/Broadway that hits the west side of downtown as part of a future phase but it needs to be after Troost, Burlington, Indep Ave and a bunch of other streets.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by earthling » Thu May 03, 2018 12:44 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
ToDactivist wrote:why not jog over @ Westport and go up Nichols? Solves Westport, Hopsital and better Plaza access???
Broadway ridership pales compared to Main, and you’d have to jog back to get to UMKC.
Though mainly because of passthrough or picking up crosstown bus traffic. If streetcar went along Bway, most using crosstown buses would transfer there instead. I'd rather see Broadway too as it's more conducive to a road diet than Main through Midtown. Many prefer a straight line but the jog isn't that much.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu May 03, 2018 2:54 pm

earthling wrote:
DaveKCMO wrote:
ToDactivist wrote:why not jog over @ Westport and go up Nichols? Solves Westport, Hopsital and better Plaza access???
Broadway ridership pales compared to Main, and you’d have to jog back to get to UMKC.
Though mainly because of passthrough or picking up crosstown bus traffic. If streetcar went along Bway, most using crosstown buses would transfer there instead. I'd rather see Broadway too as it's more conducive to a road diet than Main through Midtown. Many prefer a straight line but the jog isn't that much.
Very true. We found that to be the case with the ridership at 31st (hence the proposal to move the streetcar stop to Linwood only -- 31st boardings are mostly due to transfers and not destinations).

Regardless, we don't have that origin/destination data for the whole system (a failing of almost all transit systems) and again the TDD was called "Main Street Rail TDD" to put a fork in that discussion once and for all.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun May 06, 2018 9:40 am

Today is the starter line's two year anniversary for operations. Officially 4 million rides to date. Biggest reflection for me is how reliable and fast the service has become, something other US streetcar projects aren't particularly known for. After that, it's the sustained ridership.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by earthling » Sun May 06, 2018 9:54 am

The streetcar itself is a success by most any measure and while it has clearly driven additional development, was hoping by 2 years time more out of town developers would be filling up more surface lots. River Market has that but Xroads and Loop along the line still have a few too many lots with no development announcements.

BTW, the streetcar announces the name of the next stop while pulling into the current one, which is confusing some or those not paying attention. It should either announce the current stop while pulling in and/or announce the next stop after leaving/passing the current one.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun May 06, 2018 11:27 am

Name a lot and I can tell you why it’s not developed yet.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Post by KCPowercat » Sun May 06, 2018 11:31 am

north loop

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