Friday, August 7, 2009

KC's Trolley System: Right Idea, Same Old Poor Execution

By March of 2010, there should be a trolley system that runs between the River Market and Waldo. Seed money worth $200,000 was approved to be given by the City Council to the Westport Regional Business League for this purpose. An estimated cost of $15 will allow customers to ride the trolley's between the hours of 7:00 P.M. and 3:30 A.M. The purpose is to provide safe transportation and attract people to the city's nightlife.

The current proposed route will stop at 8 different areas known for their restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Initially, the trolley's will only run at night. The trolley's will make stops at the City Market, the Power and Light District, the 18th and Vine area, Martini Corner (31st and Gillham), Westport, the Plaza, Brookside, and Waldo. If the execution is successful, there are hopes for plans to expand the trail to Zona Rosa in the Northland and I-435/State Line in the South.

Once again, Kansas City becomes thrifty and is trying to work with hand-me-downs. Major Metropolitan Cities, REAL Major Metropolitan cities, make a way to find the funding to do things right. Kansas City passed on the Light Rail system. Any major metropolitan city that takes itself seriously has or is in the process of building a Light Rail type of system. Once again, Kansas City is half-assing it and continuing its downward spiral to be one of the worst major metropolitan cities in the country.

The same as we couldn't build a baseball park downtown. The same as we couldn't rebuild the K. The same as we couldn't rebuild Arrowhead. We will not be building a public transit system that would help this city's citizens stay safe and increase business throughout the city. Kansas City, once again, is wearing hand-me-downs. The saddest part, people are actually excited about it.

Let me spell this out. Yes. It is great that we are getting some drunks from behind the wheel. However, it is only for a brief period. This may actually make it more dangerous as people feel the comfort of taking a trolley between bars. Guess what, they still have to drive home. Despite the push, our downtown areas aren't exactly filling up with tenants. Many people still live outside the city and still have to get home at the end of the night. It isn't going to be on a trolley.

To be even more honest, there are actually cabs you can grab around the downtown area and get in between areas for less than $10 bucks. Granted, you have to put up collateral to get home at the end of the night if you live more than a mile away. At least it can be done. If you want to get home from the Zona Rosa area at the end of the night, you better start walking because you can't even get a cab up there, and thus are forced to drive.

In conclusion, I absolutely love the idea of public transit between the cities popular spots for nightlife. However, this is putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It's small time and a reflection of how this city operates...2nd rate. Great ideas. Poor execution. Keep it up and see what happens.


Anonymous said...

They also got $95,000 in MARKETING money that does not have to be paid back. In the contract it is spelled out as a $200,000 no interest loan and $95,000 for marketing Kansas City Tourism!! Total $295,000. No one mentioned that little nugget. Isn't that what the KCCVA has a $10million dollar budget for and a 30+ person staff? Since when do we let a private company advertise for the city??

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that is weak - what private company got our tax dollars?

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