Plans for a light rail system in Kansas City may move forward only by sacrificing the city's bus system. Federal funding currently supporting the buses would have to be diverted to the proposed light rail system, adversely affecting bus service.
"Kansas City's light-rail plan could have trouble getting federal money because it eats up a bulk of the money used to pay for bus service, according to federal officials."
"The Federal Transit Administration last week sent a letter to the local bus provider explaining the financing problem the city faces as it moves forward with a light-rail plan approved by voters last fall."
"The letter sent to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority explained that Kansas City must be able to fund the light-rail project without hurting the city's transit system."
"Under the voter-approved plan, a three-eighth cent sales tax for buses that was to expire in 2009 would be diverted to light rail for 25 years. Beginning in 2009, the ATA would lose about 40 percent of its yearly $70 million budget."