Streetcar Steps Up the Pace

Ballots for a special mail-in election to set local funding for the planned streetcar extension to UMKC are available now.

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority has more than doubled the availability of 10-minute wait times by better synchronizing its operations with downtown traffic signals.

Tom Gerend, streetcar executive director, said service changes will increase the amount of time 10-minute headways are used from 25 service hours to 61 hours with the new schedule, a 144 percent increase. Passengers will notice the faster service on mornings, evenings and weekends.

“Streetcar operators don’t have the ability to change lights, but there is communication equipment on board the transmits to the signal. The better coordination will lead to faster times.”

The schedule improvement is part of an ongoing effort by the streetcar authority to improve operational efficiency for its three-car fleet. There also will be less layover time at Union Station.

A roundtrip streetcar ride with the new 10 minute service schedule is about 24 minutes with a six-minute layover at Union Station for a total of 30 minutes. Under the previous schedule, the trips totaled 36 minutes.

Streetcar hours are from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays; 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays, and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can follow streetcar progress here.

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