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
8%
Country Club ROW: UMKC to Brookside/Waldo
20
24%
Country Club ROW: UMKC through Brookside/Waldo to Prospect
12
14%
Linwood: Main to Emanuel Cleaver 2
8
9%
City/County Wide Rail Project
31
36%
Other
7
8%
 
Total votes: 85

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smh
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by smh »

WoodDraw wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:04 pm
smh wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:06 am
Little late to discussion, but why would I pay $30 for a bus (even a nice bus) to the airport if I could take an Uber for the same price? Honest question. I hadn't heard the $30 figure thrown around before and I recognize it's just a hypothetical but curious what prompted that as a figure. I suppose I expected something like $9 (roughly the price of a rail trip to DIA from downtown Denver, or the FlyAway bus in LA).

I really want a quality bus to KCI, and it seems very feasible, I just think if it is the same price as Uber then Uber wins because I can leave whenever I want. One upside perhaps is with set pricing I know if I roll back into KCI at midnight on a Sunday I should be able to take the bus rather than be subject to Uber's surge pricing.
Because you’ll change your behavior afterwards. With no parking, and regular, nice buses, you’ll schedule time around when they will be there,

So you want to park your car and pay x per day or take a bus?
No I want to take a bus or uber/taxi as I said.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by dukuboy1 »

Some kind of rail system, where you can park and then commute to airport would be best. Limit the stops its makes and have enough capacity to carry passengers and frequency of trains to ensure the time spent is of benefit. That's the first thing. IF rail is done poorly and it takes on average 45-60 mins to get to airport after stops, waiting for next train etc. there is no real time benefit to using it. Maybe you save some money in parking, but the actual turn time is what people want. Otherwise they will Uber/Cab/Car Service/Shuttle

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by smh »

dukuboy1 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:40 pm
Some kind of rail system, where you can park and then commute to airport would be best. Limit the stops its makes and have enough capacity to carry passengers and frequency of trains to ensure the time spent is of benefit. That's the first thing. IF rail is done poorly and it takes on average 45-60 mins to get to airport after stops, waiting for next train etc. there is no real time benefit to using it. Maybe you save some money in parking, but the actual turn time is what people want. Otherwise they will Uber/Cab/Car Service/Shuttle
I just don't think rail is on the table at all in KC for the reasons mentioned most recently by Dave, above. Bus is what's on offer and I don't think for $30 a ride you get many takers and certainly no workers.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by TheLastGentleman »

It seems like there should be a cheaper type of train to build than a streetcar to connect with the airport

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:38 pm
It seems like there should be a cheaper type of train to build than a streetcar to connect with the airport
Diesel commuter rail using existing freight tracks might be the only rail system cheaper than streetcar, since light and heavy electrified rail would be more expensive. The main problem with commuter rail is tracks from downtown to KCI don't exist. I think the Sanders plan took advantage of some right of way via KCK. Chastain's light rail plans assumed the old interurban right-of-way could be assembled, but that would add cost and NIMBY issues since some of that land has sprawling single family homes around it now.

Again, stop focusing on rail to the airport. It's not a driver of ridership and our terminal is too far from the urban core. Period.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:50 pm
I think the Sanders plan took advantage of some right of way via KCK. Chastain's light rail plans assumed the old interurban right-of-way could be assembled, but that would add cost and NIMBY issues since some of that land has sprawling single family homes around it now.

Again, stop focusing on rail to the airport. It's not a driver of ridership and our terminal is too far from the urban core. Period.
In the Chastain 2007 plan this was not entirely unrealistic. It was going to use the Waukomis (Englewood to 68th) section of the St Joe line. Sufficient right of way still exists for that section.
https://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_kc_2007-05a.htm

Sanders did the same thing as Chastain to reach the airport excepting crossing into Riverside vs coming up N. Oak. The route to the airport looks like it's Waukomis starting further south, then Barry Rd to Tiffany Springs.
https://www.thetransportpolitic.com/200 ... il-system/

I would call the Chastain plan more realistic than the Sanders plan to reach the airport.

The Sanders plan map does give a better cost estimate. If it was going to cost $150 million per mile, without the river crossing the airport line was going to be more than $2.8 billion. With the river crossing, well over $3 billion.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by dukuboy1 »

smh wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:53 pm
dukuboy1 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:40 pm
Some kind of rail system, where you can park and then commute to airport would be best. Limit the stops its makes and have enough capacity to carry passengers and frequency of trains to ensure the time spent is of benefit. That's the first thing. IF rail is done poorly and it takes on average 45-60 mins to get to airport after stops, waiting for next train etc. there is no real time benefit to using it. Maybe you save some money in parking, but the actual turn time is what people want. Otherwise they will Uber/Cab/Car Service/Shuttle
I just don't think rail is on the table at all in KC for the reasons mentioned most recently by Dave, above. Bus is what's on offer and I don't think for $30 a ride you get many takers and certainly no workers.
I agree, light rail is not in the cards anytime soon, and by that I'm thinking 25yrs down the road. The density is not where it needs to be for it, as it is still very easy to get everywhere in town by car, good or bad, that is truth. Should we plan now for 25yrs down the road?, do I want something sooner yes, as I would use it. But don't see anything happening for a while, unless KC becomes a boom town and population adds like 500K in the next 5-10yrs

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

dukuboy1 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:08 pm
Should we plan now for 25yrs down the road?, do I want something sooner yes, as I would use it. But don't see anything happening for a while, unless KC becomes a boom town and population adds like 500K in the next 5-10yrs
We should have a 50 year transit plan defined

The way to plan right now is to get the route defined and legally protected from encroachment. We should get the region on board with the final route on a scale similar to 100 miles of rail, 250 miles of bus lanes and 10,000 miles of bike lanes and paths. Ignore who lives where today, how to pay for it, density and all that.

The KCATA is a legal entity in both states and has a bi-state board setup. The idea is that the land isn't just legally protected, the contract with cities says the KCATA controls the ROWs. They may not own it but they're effectively given a quasi-lien over it that enables them to veto projects that don't implement the plan. The right contract can do this, just need really good lawyers involved.

Here's why it works, it does that great thing that every politician likes. It doesn't commit them to do anything. We need politicians today to legally bind their cities for decades. That's what we're often missing, the legal contract to do something. A study is commissioned that comes up with a great plan and no one does anything with it.

Paired with a regional tax, it could take decades to build everything and we know cities will be on board because they committed to it. The tax can bring money to implement the plan. Use a regional tax to get cities on board to do their part because it can be used to increase their local match for other funding. Coordinate projects, like a road rebuild + bike lanes + bus lane and improved bus stops.

It also fixes the key transit chicken and egg. People think transit needs density but until the city commits to a route no one will commit to density.
Look at how midtown started to boom once it became clear rail was going to be built on it. Land suddenly became highly valuable and long-held properties went up for sale. Define the routes in a contract and watch developers gain inerest.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by alejandro46 »

flyingember wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:13 pm
dukuboy1 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:08 pm
Should we plan now for 25yrs down the road?, do I want something sooner yes, as I would use it. But don't see anything happening for a while, unless KC becomes a boom town and population adds like 500K in the next 5-10yrs
We should have a 50 year transit plan defined
Agreed and KCATA is Doing This:
DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:38 am
DaveKCMO wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:10 am
Regional funding could boost everything, especially the key corridors: Metcalf, State, North Oak, Independence.
https://www.kcata.org/procurement/regio ... consultant
Probably not on a 50 year time frame though. Longer term/systemwide thinking would be best, we really missed out when the regional Nextrail plan got shot down.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

alejandro46 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:57 pm
Longer term/systemwide thinking would be best, we really missed out when the regional Nextrail plan got shot down.
Nextrail was like 12 miles of rail thinking two years out. It's thinking neighborhoods and we need to be thinking on the scale of counties.

The 2-3 year timeframe is why we keep failing. People don't see how it benefits them because planning doesn't even try to benefit them. We're just not thinking big enough or comprehensive enough.

Think beyond the system to how it changes development patterns. Look at the 2009 regional rail map. It bypassed development in the plan by aiming for the best route to the airport, not the best route for people who live on the way to the airport.

Planning is all integrated and we often forget this. The bike plan is approved, but to get value out of the bike plan requires a zoning change that never happens. N. Oak in one section now has 7 day bus service and bike lanes and there's giant empty lots zoned for low density development. It's a priority transit improvement corridor with four car lots and I think a fifth coming.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

No transit agency plans 50 years ahead. The money is never secure that far in advance. You're lucky to get 10-20 years, but usually much less.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:02 pm
No transit agency plans 50 years ahead. The money is never secure that far in advance. You're lucky to get 10-20 years, but usually much less.
MARC plans 30 years out and it's regional.
https://connectedkc.org/

So we're already doing longer term at that scale. Just need to set it in stone at some point and actually build that plan.


Transit plans that don't think 50 years out are reactionary rather than driving TOD. A 50 year plan could actually drive demand on corridors the system can best serve, rather than be reactionary and need to find money in 30 years on an expensive to operate route.

Case in point Kansas City Live, LLC was formed 17 years ago. With the assumption of a couple years of prep work, this project isn't done after two decades. That's the scale of development in the city. If the goal was to increase demand for the bus in that spot planning 10 years out is painfully short sighted.

The water department working on a 100 year cycle. 100 years ago they had zero customers north of the river and they still plan that far out.
Transit is infrastructure too.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

50 year planning isn't that rare. a lot of agencies do it, and it's clear that every coastal transit agency that isn't is incompetent

climate change makes looking that far forward critical on the coast
http://www.browardmpo.org/images/201804 ... 3.docx.pdf


MassDOT looking at climate change impacts out to 2070
https://www.mass.gov/doc/massachusetts- ... 8/download


Pittsburgh
https://pittsburghpa.gov/domi/transport-vision-plan

Sarasota
https://www.yourobserver.com/article/sa ... aster-plan

Maui
https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/post/ ... n#stream/0

Bay Area
https://www.wired.com/story/spur-bay-ar ... edictions/

Gilbert, AZ
https://www.gilbertaz.gov/Home/Componen ... P/1575/155

A Charlotte consultant saying to look 50 years out
https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/n ... ep-in.html

Brevard
https://1000fof.org/county/brevard/

NYC vehicle planning with 50 years in mind
https://www.wnyc.org/story/meet-mta-rei ... committee/

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by dukuboy1 »

nothing wrong with 50yr planning, and like you said laying the legal groundwork early is key. However That far out has money/funding questions for sure. As far as developers interested. When the street car was first announced, it was touted as a starter line with plans in place showing possible expansion. Definitely had to have those plans in place in order to get to that phase, apply for grants, secure matching federal/state funds, etc.

However it has not been within the last 2 yrs or so that major purchases & projects started to develop along the expansion line. I think for developers they want to the "up to minute news" and once they feel comfortable there will be shovels in the ground within the next 2-3 yrs they start buying up property and or begin projects. Not all operate this way, some by a buying 5-10yrs in advance and sit on it, knowing there is enough of a spark that might light the fire. Speculative buying if you will.

But overall point is I'm happy to know big picture long term planning is active and that people are continuing to focus on opportunities.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

When the street car was first announced, it was touted as a starter line with plans in place showing possible expansion.
Main has been on rail plans for decades but no one ever took the step of saying rail will absolutely be on it until a few years ago.

That's what I'm saying we need to do, to take all the various plans and then some take that next step of saying "if we do X, it will be here" as a 50-year scale of plan

If someone was to come in and legally protect Shawnee Mission Parkway for rail development the idea will grow. Some will sit on land, some will build in anticipation and some will see the future and work on this from the city council direction.

It's the *me* problem. People don't see what they get if they support transit today because we're always only announcing what we can build and people are apathetic about what's reported. People want rail to the airport and they get pessimism that it's unrealistic.

Put a huge plan in front of them and make it a challenge to solve, not a promise with a timeline.

Plenty of projects take decades and are done in pieces. For example, I-80 took 33 years to finish. They didn't announced the parts of I-80 they could build in ten years, they announced the whole thing.
Last edited by flyingember on Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

I said agencies don't plan that far out and we're talking about building and not just lines on a map and some analysis like SmartMoves. Glad you found a bunch of MPOs, DOTs, and a handful of other exceptions tho.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:10 pm
I said agencies don't plan that far out and we're talking about building and not just lines on a map like SmartMoves. Glad you found a bunch of MPOs, DOTs, and a handful of other exceptions tho.
You're arguing to maintain a pervasive chicken-egg scenario. I'm saying it's time to stop making excuses.

If we can't come up with an overlapping transit plan that coordinates with everyone's development plans, car-centric planning is all that's going to happen.

That agencies don't plan that far out is why they're failing.

Yes, the KCATA is failing to do what it takes to serve people. The city expands outwards and busses serve fewer and fewer people on a percentage basis.

It took putting in a transit line that will be there for ~40 years for a brand new transit route to grab people's attention.
This was transit planning far beyond 10 years. It took decades to find money for a downtown line and there had to be money available for decades to fund operations. This is long term planning producing success.

The KCATA absolutely can plan that far out. That it doesn't is the problem.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

flyingember wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:25 pm
DaveKCMO wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:10 pm
I said agencies don't plan that far out and we're talking about building and not just lines on a map like SmartMoves. Glad you found a bunch of MPOs, DOTs, and a handful of other exceptions tho.
It took putting in a transit line that will be there for ~40 years for a brand new transit route to grab people's attention.
It's almost like you can't acknowledge who was involved in the project...

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by mean »

Did flyingember know who he was talking to up to this point, or will he do a few quick Google searches and come back and pretend he knew all along? How will he mansplain his way out of this one? FIND OUT TONIGHT ON KCRAG!

/me gets popcorn

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:45 pm

It's almost like you can't acknowledge who was involved in the project...
oh, I knew that. it's what makes your points so sad. One big success and you moved into a role where you're maintaining the status quo with tiny changes to the existing network in ways that decrease ridership per capita

the bus system redesign is at 18 months and counting and the biggest transit system change proposed isn't even part of it. No one cared to try and figure out how the system redesign would work with the free fare council proposal and update the documents.

The system is so badly designed people are moving away from areas served by the bus and every plan across the last few does nothing to look at increasing service where people are moving to. On the latest plan system improvements serve shrinking populations with service cancelations in growing populations

https://www.flatlandkc.org/people-place ... nsas-city/
This map data is useful since it's timely to the 2019 redesign program

there's a new industrial center within 10 minutes from downtown and there's no plan in ridekc next to serve it. where's the relationship to couple the Riverside eco dev planning with transit planning? it's well under the 10 year timeframe given since it exists today. with the system redesign you're canceling their only service instead. there's clearly a lack of interest in building relationships there. As you can see from the proposed 231 cancelation, building relationships needs to be a much bigger focus and this will come with being willing to make 50 year network promises. That developers can count on the bus in the same sense as they can the permanence of laying rail.

Worse, if the goal is to increase revenue wouldn't it be best to grow ridership with express routes? Implementing a limited stop BRT line on N. Oak that takes a $95 monthly fare would be financially advantageous. A premium express suburban system can have half the ridership for the same amount of gross revenue Financially the city would be better off putting in bus lanes on N. Oak to enable this since it can subsidize premium price riders at a smaller percentage of the cost. But no one is taking BRT on N. Oak seriously.

this is why no one talks about the bus to the airport, because people don't trust it to stick around. people want permanent and reliable. they want to think that they can take that new job and move to that new apartment and the bus will be there in 20 years without question. and too often, this isn't the case

And where's the one seat ride from N. Oak to the plaza? this one is such a no brainer that marc has it on their map.
http://www.kcsmartmoves.org/

And it's worse, an alternating main max service extension from 3rd/grand costs nothing extra if it replaces the current 201 route at peak use. The entire city voted yes to fund a single rail line that did that more than a decade ago and no one has learned the lesson that people want more transit service that doesn't add 15-30 minutes because there's this strange idea everyone should transfer downtown no matter what. A State Ave-Indep Ave single line should be a no brainer since it connects KCK to Paseo Industrial with no transfer.

The worst in terms of planning is today's 21 and today's 234. 234 is suspended right now, but it was scheduled to arrive on the half hour and 21 to arrive on the hour. that's a 30 minute transfer if someone wanted to travel two miles. the system redesign proposes canceling both routes. and making it worse, both routes terminated at the same spot so it easily could have been one single bus route. Antioch center was redeveloped with a grocery store right next to the transit center. it takes really bad planning to see increased demand by the public to visit next to a transit center and the answer is to reduce service to it.

The lack of focus on the fundamentals of building a network clearly has induced car use across the city.

There's no big picture system redesign that shows cities what they get if they think big, showing how there's goals of adding service to more people and it will be there in 30,40,50 years without question if you help fund it

What we need is someone to have a plan that they know can't be built today and put them on the map as promises. The equivalent of presenting streetcar expansion to the NKC city council despite the chances of building something being zero right now even if they get involved.


What's so hard about promising people certain rail, BRT and bus lines will be upgraded to rail when there's funding? Give people something to aim for. Come in and show what it will take.

posting.php?mode=quote&f=9&p=614126
"once we have a source of revenue" isn't a promise Promise people if there's revenue it won't be canceled, that they can rely on it.
Just like with phase 3 streetcar. Make the promise for what rail lines will be built if a way to fund it is found. Induce demand for people to tell the state and county they want funding for improved transit.

there's clearly demand for rail transit and saying "no" isn't how you get the public's trust to pass a regional tax. Planning needs to say "yes, but..."

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