Happy Holidays To All From SMART KC
First up congratulations to the World Series Royals for an exceptional and outstanding season. Well done!
In local transit news Austin Alonzo reports on recent developments.
Streetcar Authority Sets Hours – Discusses Smart City Integration
KCUR interview with international transit planner Jarrett Walker that the KCRTA brought in to speak at their luncheon on Oct 14, 2014. He quietly told them they need to get the bus system right before the streetcar or light rail.
Up To Date – Rethinking How To Assess Public Transit Needs
Sherri McIntyre, director of the city’s Public Works Department, and City Engineer Ralph Davis — the project managers for the 2.2-mile downtown streetcar — said there will be an update on the costs of the second phase proposal during the council’s business session at City Hall. Business sessions usually occur at 1 p.m. on Thursday, prior to the council’s legislative session.
“There will be an update on where it’s at,” Davis said.
Chris Hernandez, a spokesman for the city, confirmed the date of the presentation. He previously told the Kansas City Business Journal that Public Works Department staff would issue a full status report on contracts related to the proposal, how much money has already been spent and how much work was completed but not yet paid for.
An agenda for the upcoming business session has not yet been posted on the City Clerk’s website. Representatives of the City Clerk’s office said it will likely be posted on Wednesday morning.
Story continued here at the Kansas City Business Journal by Austin Alonzo
Seattle may order hundreds of buses from Greenville company
Seattle King Metro recently bought two battery-powered buses and a fast charge system for a trial run.
Following a one-year trial period, the agency has a pre-arranged option to purchase up to 200 more buses and additional fast charge systems.
With this purchase, the Seattle area is the latest in a group of metropolitan areas, including Stockton and Pomona, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Worcester, Mass.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Seneca, S.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Reno, Nev.; and Louisville, Ky., to purchase and deploy Proterra EV transit technology.
In addition the Washington DC Circulator bus service will soon be replacing its fleet of 49 diesel buses, which dates from 2003, and local transit authorities are organizing one-day showcases so that decision-makers and riders can check out new bus models that will be vying for the contract. South Carolina-based Proterra brought its 40-foot, 77-passenger electric bus.
Kansas City is getting ready to do some accounting.
On Tuesday, voters in a section of the city’s urban core rejected a proposal that would have created a taxing district to partially finance — and allowed the city to move ahead with planning — the construction of 7.8 miles of additional streetcar lines. The vote appears to have tabled the expansion issue indefinitely.
However, Kansas City already has entered contracts and spent money on planning the extensions. City spokesman Chris Hernandez said the city is preparing to look over those contracts and ask contractors how soon they can end work on the project.
Story by Austin Alonzo for the Kansas City Business Journal – KC will count costs of failed streetcar extension proposal
KC Voters Reject Streetcar Expansion
No – 8,602 (60%) Yes – 5,657 (40%)
August 1, 2014 – Time Marches On
Opening Segment – Streetcar
Picture – Proterra’s next-generation ProTerra V2 40-ft all-electric bus. Proterra buses are already in operation in many US cities.
A full fleet has been chosen to serve downtown Louisville, creating tremendous cost savings to the public as well as freeing money up to invest in significant public safety and youth development investments, while also paving roads, fixing park facilities and government buildings. Read the story here.
VOTE NO ON QUESTION A
Forbes Magazine – Kansas City Streetcar Proposal Underwrites the Rich At the Expense of the Poor
Next week thousands of Kansas City, Missouri, voters will decide whether to expand the city’s streetcar beyond its downtown boundaries. Although voters in the proposed district won’t technically be voting on a tax increase on Aug. 5, approval of the new district will set the stage for fresh taxes to support it, which would take the form of a combination of sales and property taxes. Full Story Continued Here
Be Smart KC – Stop This Train Wreck
Year after year Kansas Citians repeatedly say No! to expensive schemes for rail transit. I am Greg Allen and I have lived and worked in Midtown Kansas City for 40 years. I and many of my friends have repeatedly opposed rail projects, whether sprung from the imagination of Clay Chastain or hatched from millions of dollars of “study” by our City Government. Full Story Continued Here
Human Transit – Email of the week: on Robert Steuteville’s defense of slower-than-walking transit
I don’t have time to respond to everything that gets published on transit, but Robert Steuteville’s must-read piece today on the Congress for the New Urbanism blog, which explains why we should invest in transit that’s slower than walking*, certainly deserves a response. Fortunately, sometimes an email does it for me. Full Story Continued Here