Kansas City’s downtown streetcar has recorded more than 550,000 rides since it launched nearly three months ago.
As of Thursday, the 84th day of service, the streetcar had tallied 555,417 passenger rides, according to Streetcar Authority spokeswoman Donna Mandelbaum.
Daily average ridership is 6,612. That’s an increase from the average daily ridership of 6,365 that had been recorded after two months, on July 5.
Before the streetcar launched on May 6, officials had predicted that average daily ridership would be about 2,700.
And streetcar officials still say ridership may gradually dip in coming months, after the streetcar novelty wears off and a busy summer of downtown activities fades and cold weather sets in.
Although weekday ridership is robust, Saturdays have been the busiest days on average since the streetcar system began public operations. July 16 was the biggest Saturday yet, with 15,780 riders counted.
Passengers do not pay any fare to ride the streetcar, which runs on a 2.2-mile route from River Market to Union Station. But they are counted by automated passenger counters above the doorways of the streetcar vehicles. The counters are another feature of the software system installed in the streetcar to provide location information, speeds, arrival times and other workforce management information.
The passenger counts are downloaded daily and reviewed by a team for accuracy, in partnership with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the city’s bus system.
The authority plans to issue more information next week pegged to the three-month anniversary of operations.