Kansas City expects first streetcar to be delivered by late Octo - KCTV5

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Kansas City expects first streetcar to be delivered by late October

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City officials expect its first streetcar vehicle to be delivered by the end of October. The original date was Sept. 29. City officials expect its first streetcar vehicle to be delivered by the end of October. The original date was Sept. 29.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There is still no sign of streetcars in Kansas City, but leaders say we could be getting closer.

City officials expect its first streetcar vehicle to be delivered by the end of October. The original date was Sept. 29.

It is unknown when the three other vehicles will be delivered or when the 2.2-mile streetcar line will open.

The Spanish company known as CAF is making the actual streetcars for the city's new $102 million project.

Officials from Kansas City returned Wednesday from a trip to Elmira, NY, where the cars are being built to qualify for federal funding. They flew there to find a way to speed up the process after CAF announced in August that the first streetcar wouldn’t be delivered until December.

"Manufacturers always have various cost models and issues. They had other customers so the manufacturing process is very complex,” said project manager Ralph Davis.

Getting items shipped from Spain to New York was delayed by more than a month when the manufacturer missed a transatlantic boat ride.

Cincinnati and Houston streetcars are ahead of Kansas City’s and theirs are also delayed.

"We're excited about their product, but we also want them to…they've got to deliver this on time," Davis said.

City leaders said they are going to increase their status update meetings with CAF to once a week.

KCTV5 followed Davis to his legislative session to ask him if the city is losing money.

“It doesn’t generate revenue, so we don’t gain the benefit of having the citizens use it, but it’s not a loss of cash,” he said.

There are four cars total, which together cost about $18 million, and can hold up to 150 people. The board doesn’t know if the other three cars will be on time.

"Our reaction is that is completely unacceptable," city spokesman Chris Hernandez said. "We're ready to accept the delivery of our streetcars, so we want our streetcars."

Each day the streetcars are delayed, the city charges CAF $3,300. 

The city boasts the project because it has accounted for $1.4 billion of new construction, however half of the construction projects were also given incentives from the city.

"Everybody is anxious, we understand. We're anxious, we want everything to happen and we're doing our best to get it delivered," Davis said.

The streetcar track work is completed, and the electrical wiring is expected to be ready by the end of September.

The goal was to have the entire project done by March when the Big 12 Tournament is in town. It’s unknown if that will be the reality.

The streetcars will need months of federally mandated testing before people can ride them. 

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