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Transit Funding, Streetcar Depend on Today's Vote in Kansas City

Kansas City will vote today on two transportation-related initiatives. Once would inhibit the growth of the Kansas City Streetcar. Another would create a tax to find several new rail lines.
August 8, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Tuesday is Election Day for Kansas City-area cities, and voters will decide issues related to the streetcar, minimum wage and taxes," reports Lynn Horsley.

Three questions, all placed by petition initiative, will face voters today, including two that will determine the future of public transit in the city.

First: "Question 1 is from streetcar opponents, who believe streetcars are a big waste of money. This ballot measure would prohibit Kansas City municipal government from planning for or implementing any fixed rail transit system without a citywide vote of approval."

Question 2, however, "seeks a 3/8 -cent sales tax increase for 25 years to help pay the costs of a rapid rail and electric bus system." That new tax would fund:

  • "A rail route from Vivion Road in the Northland to the Kansas City Zoo, with electric bus extensions beyond that to Kansas City International Airport and the Cerner campus out south."
  • "Another line would go east from downtown to the Truman Sports Complex with stops at Hospital Hill, Troost, Prospect and the VA hospital." 
  • "Another line would go east from downtown to Old Northeast."

Horsely adds that a couple of suburban cities in the Kansas City will also consider whether or not to renew transportation and capital investment taxes.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 4, 2017 in The Kansas City Star
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