FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2016
Public invited to street parties to celebrate the opening of the KC Streetcar May 6 & 7
The City of Kansas City, Missouri and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority invite the public to celebrate the start of KC Streetcar operations while visiting downtown Kansas City neighborhoods to witness the transformative effect the streetcar is having on our city.
The public celebration starts at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 6, outside of Union Station with a grand opening ceremony featuring Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Federal Transit Administration members, Kansas City Streetcar Authority Chairman Mike Hagedorn and other local dignitaries and elected officials. The ceremony will be followed by an inaugural first ride for those dignitaries and the opening of public streetcar service and community-wide parties and activities.
Mayor Sly James said the grand opening of the KC Streetcar is more than a celebration of a new transit option for Kansas Citians. “This is the first step of what I believe will be a truly historic transformation of the entire city,” James said. “Building owners and developers have completed, started or announced more than $1.7 billion in construction in the downtown KC Streetcar district since the route was announced. I’m confident the entire city will find new momentum as the KC Streetcar energizes the heart of our community.”
The KC Streetcar grand opening ceremony kicks off a weekend long celebration along the entire two-mile streetcar route. Many special streetcar-related events are planned in downtown Kansas City, in conjunction with other festivities such as First Friday (and Saturday this time) in the Crossroads Arts District, a family-friendly festival with carnival rides at Union Station, fireworks both Friday and Saturday nights from Liberty Memorial, Smart City Village in the downtown business district, Middle of the Map
Fest in the KC Power & Light District, movie in the park in the City Market, and a busy spring weekend in the River Market.
The public is encouraged to enjoy and explore the many restaurants, boutique shops and other retail business along the streetcar route. There will also be a stationary streetcar parked at Union Station near Pershing Road for your chance to take a selfie with the streetcar.
For complete information about KC Streetcar grand opening activities, including transit options and parking, please go to www.timetoridekc.org.
An endeavor of this magnitude would not be possible without the involvement and support of so many partners”, said Tom Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority. “For a project to go from the drawing board to completion in this timeframe is record setting and only possible with the strong and visionary leadership from the City of Kansas City, and tremendous support from the Federal Transit Administration, the KC Area Transportation Authority, downtown businesses, our contract operator, Herzog Transit, and many others. This milestone represents years of effort by many and a new and exciting era for the region’s RideKC public transit partnership.”
Many thanks to the Grand Opening Celebration sponsors: The City of Kansas City, Missouri, The Kansas City Streetcar Authority, KC Streetcar Constructors, Sprint, CAF, UMB, HDR, Burns & McDonnell, KCATA, Port KC, Lewis Rice, Dimensional Innovations, KCP&L, SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit, BNIM, Commerce Tower on Main, Central States, J. Reiger Co, Boulevard Brewing Company, HINT, HNTB, Thomas McGee, LTK, Centric Projects, Sprint Center, Commerce Bank, JE Dunn, Jackson County, Mark One Electric and the KC Chamber of Commerce.
The KC Streetcar grand opening celebration planning team was led by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority and O’Neill Marketing & Events Management, with assistance from many City of Kansas City departments, including Public Works, Kansas City Police Department, Kansas City Fire Department, and the City Manager’s Office. We’d also like to thank our downtown partners including the Downtown Council, the City Market, Union Station, Kansas City Power & Light District, Visit KC, KC Crossroads Community Association, and the River Market neighborhood association.
- Watch the ceremony in front of Union Station. Then enjoy activities in all downtown neighborhoods along the route.
- Please do not expect to ride the streetcar’s entire route continuously. Plan to exit at stops along the way to explore neighborhood activities.
Transportation & Parking:
- FREE RideKC bus service is being offered on all local, express and shuttle service that connects to downtown. There will also be additional RideKC Max bus service on Main Street the weekend of May 6 & 7.
- Main Street between 20th and Pershing Road will be closed to traffic. Union Station parking and Crown Center parking via Grand Blvd. will remain accessible. A full map of local parking locations is posted on www.timetoridekc.org
- Main Street north of 20th will remain open to traffic, however, no street parking will be allowed on Main Street or on the south side of 5th Street between Main and Walnut on May 6 & 7.
The KC Streetcar will operate seven days a week, with service running from 6 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays; 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays; 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays; and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays, and it is free to ride.
For specific media questions related to the KC Streetcar grand opening, please contact Donna Mandelbaum with the KC Streetcar Authority at 816.627.2526 (office), 816.877.3219 (cell) or email at email@example.com or Chris Hernandez, Director of City Communications, at 816.513.3474 (office), 816.787.1507 (cell) or email at Chris.Hernandez@kcmo.org.