City leaders show off 1st streetcar stop - KCTV5


City leaders show off 1st streetcar stop

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Images courtesy Brandon Richard/KCTV Images courtesy Brandon Richard/KCTV

It's the biggest development in public transit in the city's recent history, and community leaders celebrated a major milestone Friday night.

Crews installed the first KC Streetcar stop near West 16th and Main streets. The platform looks similar to a bus stop and includes a canopy to protect riders from weather elements.

"We couldn't be more excited. It's a big milestone in the project and it's exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority.

While dealing with the construction has been painful for some nearby business owners, others, such as Anton Kotar, are excited.

"I've been down here quite a while and seeing a lot going on. I'll tell you, it's really leaps and bounds now. The city and downtown is jumping, a lot is going on," said Kotar, who owns Anton's Taproom and Restaurant located about five feet from the first KC Streetcar stop. "I think it's going to do well. I hope to see the rest of the city get on board with this now."

The streetcar system will have 16 total stops downtown along a two-mile stretch, connecting the River Market to Union Station and will include stops in the Central Business District, Crown Center, and the Power and Light District.

Thirteen of the stops, which were designed by HDR Engineering, will look like the one installed at 16th and Main.

Construction on the $100 million street car system started a year and a half ago and the street car won't be up and running until next year. The city said the street cars will arrive this fall, but must go through testing and safety certification before they can pick up and drop off people.

Mayor Sly James and other leaders gathered at the streetcar stop at 5 p.m. for the official dedication.

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