Budget Woes For Kansas City Light Rail Plan

In Kansas City, plans for a new light rail line connecting the city to the nearby international airport will need about $500 million more than originally expected to complete construction and maintain operations.

"A new report says Kansas City's voter-approved light rail plan faces a funding shortfall of $433 million to $545 million - even if the federal government pays half of the construction costs."

"'The money is not sufficient to do what was voted on in November, 2006,' said Mark Huffer, general manager of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority."

"The estimate assumes construction costs of $1.42 billion to $1.65 billion for the 27-mile line from the Kansas City Zoo to Kansas City International Airport."

"Engineers also estimated operating costs at $11 million in the first year, with fares and other revenue paying for $6.2 million of that. The total operating shortfall, the report says, would total $73.7 million, in 2007 dollars, through 2034."

Full Story: Light-rail short around $500 million

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