Kansas City Streetcar Authority officials plan to announce details Thursday about the downtown streetcar project’s grand opening celebration this spring.
One thing’s for sure: the streetcar will not be carrying passengers in time for the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament, March 9-12 at the Sprint Center. Instead, the system is expected to launch publicly later this spring, after the fourth and final streetcar arrives in late March from New York.
Last year, Mayor Sly James had said he was eager for the system to be open and ready in time for the Big 12 championship. But delays with the streetcar assembly in New York made that schedule impossible.
James said recently that he’s over being upset about the delayed opening.
“We don’t have the fourth car,” James said. “They need to run the whole thing enough to get past (Federal Transit Administration) requirements. It would’ve been nice but that’s all right. We’ll catch them next year, and we’ll have some fun in April or May.”
Streetcar Authority officials previously said they were planning a party over several days in late April or early May to celebrate not just the streetcar’s public opening but also to highlight businesses along the route from River Market to Union Station.