The Buzz

September 6, 2013

DOT head Foxx: Kansas City 'has its act together' on streetcar system

DOT secretary formalizes $20 million grant for the downtown streetcar, while Mayor Sly James touts extensions to come.

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Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx

said Kansas City’s effort to self-fund a large part of its initial downtown streetcar system was a key factor in landing a $20 million federal grant for the project.

Foxx answered questions from The Star Friday after a Union Station ceremony that made the $20 million TIGER grant official.

“The community has its act together in a big way,” he said. “Coming together to put an 80 percent match on the table — we know what the overall vision for Kansas City is.”

The $20 million TIGER grant was the single largest award out of $474 million in grants announced Friday. Foxx said total requests for TIGER money were close to $9 billion.

During the ceremony — which included Rep.

Emanuel Cleaver and Power and Light District business owner Annette Jones

— Mayor Sly James said he anticipates other streetcar projects in other parts of the community.

“We will unite this city in a way that it has never been united before,” James said.

He said the city still plans to have the downtown streetcar up and running by 2015. There are still some contracting hiccups at the City Council, so the date for actual construction is still fuzzy.

There are also potential legal hurdles.

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