KC Streetcar.

USA: Kansas City Mayor Sly James launched services on the KC Streetcar on May 6, kicking off a weekend of celebrations which saw more than 32 000 journeys made.

The 3·1 route-km north-south line connects Union Station with the River Market district. It has 10 stops, including three on a single-direction loop at the northern end, beyond which there is a depot.

Construction started in May 2014 and was undertaken by a joint venture of Herzog Contracting Corp and Stacy & Witbeck. The line is operated amd maintained by Herzog Transit Services under a five-year contract worth $15·8m that was awarded last year.

Initial ridership is expected to be between 2 700 and 2 900 passengers per day, and travel is free. Services start at 6.00 (7.00 on weekends) and run until midnight Monday ­– Thursday, 2.00 on Fridays and Saturdays, and 22.00 on Sundays. Peak headways are 10 min, with services running every 12 to 18 min off-peak.

CAF has supplied a fleet of four 100% low-floor bidirectional Urbos trams from its factory in Elmira, New York, under a contract signed in 2013. The three-section vehicles are 23·6 m long and 2 650 mm wide with capacity for 156 passengers including 32 seated. The vehicles have batteries mounted on the roof that provide emergency off-wire capability so that the vehicles can clear junctions if power is lost. Four substations supply power to the line at 750 V DC.

  • A detailed feature article on the Kansas City Streetcar project appears in the March 2015 issue of Metro Report International, available to subscribers in our digital archive.