Kansas City’s Streetcar Continues To Undercut Busses
Last year we learned that the Kansas City Area Transit Authority (KCATA) was spending money on the streetcar that was meant for its bus system. At the time, KCUR reported:
Area Transportation Authority general manager Mark Huffer said diverting transit tax money for streets and streetcars is taking its toll.
“It’s going to be virtually impossible for us to sustain current service levels like things such as Max on Prospect or Max on North Oak that we hear a lot of people asking for – for the long run – if what is continuing to be allocated to ATA lessens every year,” says Huffer.
A year later and Kansas City has finally made that MAX bus line on Prospect a priority — but only if voters approve a huge sales tax and additional property assessment to support that same streetcar. KMBC reported on Tuesday that:
In August, voters must approve the new Prospect MAX bus line as part of the city’s second streetcar route proposal. The city grouped the two together as part of its strategy to expand its mass transit options.
The streetcar proposal continues to draw big crowds angry about its tax proposals. But the Kansas City Transit Authority admits the high price tag will be a hard sell.
This should bother people who are seriously interested in providing effective transit in Kansas City. The successful, well-run, and cost-effective MAX system is being unnecessarily linked to the streetcar. That is just bad policy.