FTA finalizes $174 million FFGA with Kansas City for the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension

Jan. 11, 2021
The 3.5-mile extension builds upon the city’s successful “starter line” and will bring streetcar service south from Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

The city of Kansas City, Mo., and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) finalized a $174.1 million full funding grant agreement (FFGA) on Jan. 8 for the Kansas City Streetcar Main Street Extension Project, which will add 3.5 miles to the streetcar network from its current terminus at Union Station.  

The extension will run south to the University of Missouri – Kansas City and includes nine stations, expanding the existing vehicle maintenance facility, the purchase of six vehicles, intersection and sidewalk improvements and other technology advancements such as transit signal priority.

The funding is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. FTA notified Congress of its intention to award the FFGA in the beginning of December.

"This $174.1 million federal grant agreement will extend the streetcar line, better connecting residents to jobs and essential services, critically important as the economy recovers," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in one of her final acts before her resignation takes effect on Jan. 11.

The KC Streetcar Main Street Extension will build on the network’s “starter line” and will connect the Central Business District with the Plaza – two of the region’s largest employment centers – when it opens in June 2025. The extension will serve a corridor that contains the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Campus, St. Luke’s Hospital, Country Club Plaza, museums and an emerging theatre district.

"FTA is proud to support the expansion of the Kansas City Streetcar, which will link riders with jobs and educational opportunities at the university, along with access to community services along the line," said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. "The project reflects our partnership with Kansas City to improve transit service and support economic development."

The transit project was approved to enter the New Starts Project Development phase in 2018 and New Starts Engineering in May 2020. The $174.1 million CIG Program funding represents 49.5 percent of the total $351.6-million project cost. The remaining cost is being funded by local sources.

Williams added that "this federal investment underscores the Trump Administration's commitment to fund infrastructure that creates jobs and helps communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency."

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.