Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Transportation topics in KC

What route should the third phase of streetcar expansion follow?

Linwood: Main to Michigan(71 Highway)
7
9%
Country Club ROW: UMKC to Brookside/Waldo
16
22%
Country Club ROW: UMKC through Brookside/Waldo to Prospect
12
16%
Linwood: Main to Emanuel Cleaver 2
7
9%
City/County Wide Rail Project
26
35%
Other
6
8%
 
Total votes: 74

earthling
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by earthling »

Yeah, agree if Indie Ave is mostly funded by TDD, could be a challenge. North KC might be more willing, not sure if enough commercial density to offset the lower population density but might work. A tie into downtown North KC would be a destination for outsiders, potentially increasing tax revenue along the line.

Any expansion could be a challenge if mostly funded by TDD.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

In the 2014 election the precincts directly along the Indep Ave line proposed then had some of the highest Yes votes in that election on the entire east side and it was still a No.

I know there's legal reasons a streetcar vote and free bus vote couldn't be bundled but this would be such an easy sell to way more people.

On the I-70 section in my visualization we took away two lanes for cars and there's 10,000 more people living in downtown KCK because of TOD

NKC it's challenge is obviously the cost to cross the river still. Once that's figured out I would expect NKC gets on board asap. They're keeping the train in mind with their recent changes so there's less rework to support it

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FangKC
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by FangKC »

Yes, if the streetcar tax election was combined with a free bus vote, then it might pass.

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normalthings
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

https://marc2.org/tr_rtp/browseprojects.aspx

If you want to see more Streetcar, please fill out the comment cards for the 3 KC Streetcar Projects with words of support.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

normalthings wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:14 pm
https://marc2.org/tr_rtp/browseprojects.aspx

If you want to see more Streetcar, please fill out the comment cards for the 3 KC Streetcar Projects with words of support.
Yes, please do this.

There is only one official* expansion plan until a future council sets a new direction: http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/liveweb/Docum ... RsciM2TJNE

*Official as defined by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, which owns the current streetcar system.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

FangKC wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:50 pm
Yes, if the streetcar tax election was combined with a free bus vote, then it might pass.
*cough cough*

I don't know what you're talking about.

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KCtoBrooklyn
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by KCtoBrooklyn »

Does anyone have an idea on how much could be saved with the "trackless streetcar" trams?

I get that is doesn't have the permanence of rails in the ground, but if you add in nice stops/stations with level boarding and potentially some areas of dedicated right-of-way, it would be less ephemeral than a bus line.

Standard streetcar would be ideal, but if the trackless trams are more feasible and could be implemented more quickly, I would be all on board. Those could also make a lot of sense on a route where some flexibility would be useful, such as a Linwood line where they could run to the stadiums around game times for minimal additional cost.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by earthling »

Yeah I brought it up on last page. IIRC, Dave implied they don't cost less to operate in the end but I'd like to see the study on that. Rails and catenary system require more maintenance that increases with more miles. The people cost and maintenance facility likely the bulk of cost for any system.

These self-powered electric trams look and operate like streetcars otherwise and would be great for lines like 31st, Linwood, 18th/Vine to SW Blvd. And target streetcar expansion where it can realistically attract TOD developers.

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/11/06/world ... rt-design/

Should improve over time as battery technology advances...
Ten minutes of charge can power the electric vehicle for 25 kilometres (15.5 miles). It can reach speeds of up to 43 miles per hour (69 kilometres per hour) and is said to have a life-span of around 25 years.
Image

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KCtoBrooklyn
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by KCtoBrooklyn »

While all electric would be nice, there are also hybrid versions that I assume would be cheaper:

Image

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

KCtoBrooklyn wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:44 am
Does anyone have an idea on how much could be saved with the "trackless streetcar" trams?

I get that is doesn't have the permanence of rails in the ground, but if you add in nice stops/stations with level boarding and potentially some areas of dedicated right-of-way, it would be less ephemeral than a bus line.

Standard streetcar would be ideal, but if the trackless trams are more feasible and could be implemented more quickly, I would be all on board. Those could also make a lot of sense on a route where some flexibility would be useful, such as a Linwood line where they could run to the stadiums around game times for minimal additional cost.
Vehicles are the biggest line item in a streetcar and MAX budgets, outside of consultant fees (engineers, planning, public involvement). Track and catenary are expensive, but cities that went off-wire (OKC and Detroit) still spent a lot of money ($135 million and $137 million, respectively).

Pavement quality is a huge issue with these next-generation buses. Not sure why anyone thinks KCMO would treat this pavement differently than they do today. Take the fact that they're not repaving Prospect prior to the MAX launch as a real-life example.

Someone outside of China will need to take the first leap before they're considered for KC. The trackless tram concept vehicle from China is $2.2 million, which is over twice the cost of an electric bus. The only benefit I see is higher capacity and the ability to make tighter turns (and do we really need the latter outside of the River to Plaza corridor?).

earthling
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by earthling »

Pavement quality is a good point, maintaining that could be nearly as expensive as maintaining rails/catenary, at least in winter cities. And maybe more disruptive because rail/catenary can be repaired during off hours, pavement takes more time to dry/set. And in KC's case, operating 3 maintenance facilities (bus, streetcar and a very different 3rd technology) may not make sense.

MAX with level boarding would be fine for most highish volume lines and I'd rather see more low capacity buses than fewer high capacity - that is, not lose 10-15 minute headways due to larger capacity buses.

But I do think streetcar extension should go where there is already just enough critical mass and can most likely attract TOD and boost more destinations that would draw outsiders to the line. Indep Ave, NKC or 18th/Vine-SW Blvd could fit that. So could Brookside/Waldo if they'll bite and allow repurposing bike path.

Though if we can get free bus going, should we even bother with pursuing more streetcar extensions and instead focus on level boarding bus stops?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:23 pm
normalthings wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:14 pm
https://marc2.org/tr_rtp/browseprojects.aspx

If you want to see more Streetcar, please fill out the comment cards for the 3 KC Streetcar Projects with words of support.
Yes, please do this.

There is only one official* expansion plan until a future council sets a new direction: http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/liveweb/Docum ... RsciM2TJNE

*Official as defined by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, which owns the current streetcar system.
The 3 Streetcar have less than 30 combined comments. A single highway expansion has a few hundred. :(

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normalthings
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

St. Louis is looking at a multi-county TDD to fund improvements at their airport. Said TDD would generate $80-100million annually.

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/met ... e-breaking

1. Is this even possible?

2. Is this something that we have looked at doing here for KCATA bus and rail service?

3. Let’s says a similar TDD would raise $40-60million for Platte-Clay-Jackson. How would you alot those funds? How much increased service would be possible?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by langosta »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:10 am
St. Louis is looking at a multi-county TDD to fund improvements at their airport. Said TDD would generate $80-100million annually.

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/met ... e-breaking

3. Let’s says a similar TDD would raise $40-60million for Platte-Clay-Jackson. How would you alot those funds? How much increased service would be possible?
Right off the bat:
~$9million to make KCATA free to ride within those counties.
~$6 million to cover the existing yearly KCATA deficit.

That leaves you with $25-45 million a year for service increases and capital expenditures.

You’d probably then accelerate the construction of Independence and North Oak MAX ($60 million for 10 mile line). 4 years to build and open the two lines which cost $5 million a year each to operate. Now you are down to $15-$35 million a year to allocate.

@davekcmo What is the ballpark figure the current regional transit funding plan is expected to bring in? I know you’ve mentioned service will increase because of it but it’s sounded like all we’ll get is a few more suburban routes.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

A multi-county TDD is totally possible to fund transit improvements. Something similar was done for US-36 improvements across several counties. With a Jackson, Clay, Platte TDD you would want to build MAX on Independence to downtown Indy, Linwood to Stadiums, and North Oak to the new KCI and boost frequency everywhere service already exists. This would be a relatively easy lift after the system redesign takes effect.

However, the focus right now is a bi-state sales tax championed by the business community -- job access is a bi-state issue, and just focusing on the Missouri side doesn't get as much as the whole region. The core five counties could raise $300 million per year for capital and operations. I recommend light on capital so you can maximize the operating budget and really make a dent in job access. Streetcar would suck up all of the money, even with federal match (which takes a long time to acquire) and put a damper on the ability to make all new service zero fare. MAX lines -- if designed simultaneously -- could be implemented for $30-35 million each as design/build projects.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:13 am
A multi-county TDD is totally possible to fund transit improvements. Something similar was done for US-36 improvements across several counties. With a Jackson, Clay, Platte TDD you would want to build MAX on Independence to downtown Indy, Linwood to Stadiums, and North Oak to the new KCI and boost frequency everywhere service already exists. This would be a relatively easy lift after the system redesign takes effect.

However, the focus right now is a bi-state sales tax championed by the business community -- job access is a bi-state issue, and just focusing on the Missouri side doesn't get as much as the whole region. The core five counties could raise $300 million per year for capital and operations. I recommend light on capital so you can maximize the operating budget and really make a dent in job access. Streetcar would suck up all of the money, even with federal match (which takes a long time to acquire) and put a damper on the ability to make all new service zero fare. MAX lines -- if designed simultaneously -- could be implemented for $30-35 million each as design/build projects.
Wow. I didn’t realize it would raise so much.

Is building 1 or 2 additional streetcar extensions still part of the plan with this? IIRC, you mentioned it not too long ago.

It’s my understanding the prices drop significantly if done without federal funds (Ex. $200-$250m for UMKC Extension) maybe more if design build. To me, it seems like some sort of limited rail solution would be beneficial for the speed and extra capacity it could provide on 1-2 select core routes.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

KCtoBrooklyn wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:44 am
Does anyone have an idea on how much could be saved with the "trackless streetcar" trams?

I get that is doesn't have the permanence of rails in the ground, but if you add in nice stops/stations with level boarding and potentially some areas of dedicated right-of-way, it would be less ephemeral than a bus line.

Standard streetcar would be ideal, but if the trackless trams are more feasible and could be implemented more quickly, I would be all on board. Those could also make a lot of sense on a route where some flexibility would be useful, such as a Linwood line where they could run to the stadiums around game times for minimal additional cost.
I have been reading about these recently and it really sounds like they are starting to take off in Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully it goes well for them and can implemented in the US.

It looks like the need to be run in dedicated right of ways for them to reach their full potential. If that just means marked off asphalt great - great - if that means laying a concrete slab along the route I doubt we’d really be saving that much over normal rail lines.

Image

https://theconversation.com/why-trackl ... il-103690

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconver ... il-103690

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normalthings
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:24 pm
FangKC wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:50 pm
Yes, if the streetcar tax election was combined with a free bus vote, then it might pass.
*cough cough*

I don't know what you're talking about.
Is this still in the works?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by alejandro46 »

Would zero fare bus be enough to convince Wyandotte and JOCO to vote for a bistate tax? I'd be very curious to hear what the polling looks like.

I'd also be curious what polling would look like if you switched up to include some kind of rail to Kansas + free bus if that got any more votes. KS is too sprawl-ed out to really make any rail worthwhile unless you did the West Bottoms to KCK which, as Dave said, would suck up a ton of capital dollars (couple hundred $m per Next Rail if I recall).

So is it worth it to propose a pure $0 fare bus, or write the ballot as open ended zero fare plus rail funds as decided by the ATA/Streetcar authority without specifics?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

Polling will happen this year. If the results are good, you'll see it.

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