- KC Streetcar
The Kansas City Downtown Streetcar opened in spring 2016 with a 2-mile starter line that runs in existing street lanes, largely on Main Street from Crown Center and Union Station to the River Market. This complex project required a multidisciplinary team to design the infrastructure.
The public enthusiastically embraced this new mode of transportation, and ridership exceeded expectations. The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) is now working closely with Port KC, the Kansas City Area Transit Authority, and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, to look at options for extending the system and integrating it more closely with the region’s overall transportation network. Our team led a multidisciplined team to help the KCSA address the financial and feasibility issues related to the first extension under consideration, which will extend the streetcar line along the Kansas City Riverfront area.
The project is expected to spur economic development in the Riverfront Park area and may include a multimodal hub to improve parking and access to the interstate. However, it also presents significant challenges as the alignment runs through areas that cannot be developed and will not generate property taxes. Our team brings together specialists in transit planning and engineering design, land use, NEPA, financial analysis, funding, ridership forecasting, and public engagement to help the KCSA develop conceptual plans, cost estimates and strategies for successfully implementing the new alignment.
The final report will cover overall feasibility, overall impacts, and necessary compromises and mitigation. The content will provide a path for KCSA to streamline financing and funding, holistically improve operations through proper staging and planning, increase property values along the alignment, and improve the region’s overall transportation network.
TIGER Grant Funding
Our team helped the city manage the complex starter line project with assistance in pursuing federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city a $20,000,000 TIGER grant for the streetcar project, which was used for discretionary funding for the first phase of the $102 million project.
Our strategic communications team actively pursued more than 35 letters of support for the grant applications. They streamlined and managed the process by developing and executing:
- Draft language for the request
- Fact sheet explaining the grant application and why the project should be supported
- Draft letter of support
- Follow-up calls and emails
- Bridge design
- Federal grant application support letters
- Public involvement
- Stakeholder outreach
- Structural evaluation
- Utility research/coordination
- Waterline and sewer design
- Website design
For the starter line, we provided the following services:
- Waterline and sewer design, including assistance with final design of the water main system relocation/replacement and the sewer system rehab portions of the design. Tasks include relocation/replacement of more than 2 miles of water mains.
- Utility research and coordination, including facilitation of meetings with 27 private and public utilities and numerous stakeholders to coordinate project details and analyze impacts.
- Bridge inspection and design to document potential modifications necessary to accommodate streetcar tracks and final plans to accommodate streetcar track slab improvements and embedding of block rail in the bridge deck.
- Public involvement, including local workshops, corridor walks, door-to-door meetings, email outreach, project website, social media outreach, key messaging, dedicated phone line, surveys, branding support and coordination with the Streetcar Authority and Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association.
- Architectural assistance as an adviser and resource for design of the vehicle maintenance facility. In concept and schematic design, the team provided history and knowledge of the site in its relationship to previous studies in the area and the Greater Downtown Area Plan.