(The Center Square) – The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded a $174.1 million grant to extend a streetcar line in Kansas City.
The $351 million Kansas City Streetcar Main Street Extension Project will add 3.5 miles of track to the 2.2-mile-long line that began service in May 2016. The remaining funding comes from the Main Street Rail Transportation Development District (TDD), which voters approved in 2018.
The streetcar extension will run from Union Station in downtown Kansas City to the University of Missouri–Kansas City and includes nine stations. The project also includes intersection and sidewalk improvements along the route.
“The significance of today’s grant signing is monumental,” Tom Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, said in a news release. “This grant award marks a once-in-a-generation milestone for our region that will nearly triple the size of our current system and catalyze economic growth and investment along the route for years to come.”
The grant is part of the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. President Donald Trump’s administration has advanced funding totaling about $10.7 billion for 41 projects under the program, according to officials.
Construction on the project is slated to begin later this year or early next year, and the extension is set to open in 2025, officials said.
“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,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, who recently submitted her resignation, said in a statement.
The FTA previously announced a $50.8 million grant. That money is “part of the $174 million investment,” according to a release from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Separately, in September, the FTA granted the streetcar a $14.2 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for an extension to the riverfront. Port KC is also contributing $5 million for the 0.55-mile-long extension project, which is estimated to cost $22.2 million.
“Investing in public transportation is investing in mobility and opportunity for Kansas Citians – creating thousands of good-paying jobs along the way – and the extension of the KC Streetcar represents the next step in our vision to make all Kansas City public transportation free and available to all,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement. “This investment is a wonderful way to start the new year in Kansas City and serves as an exciting signal that the Streetcar expansion project is in full motion.”