A proposed Prospect MAX rapid bus line from 75th Street to downtown took a significant step forward Wednesday when the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority’s board approved an agreement with Kansas City.
At its monthly meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved the agreement, which needs final approval by the Kansas City Council.
“It’s a critical agreement for us going forward,” said Richard Jarrold, the KCATA’s vice president for regional planning and development. “This lays out the roles and the responsibilities for getting the project done, giving us the authorization to put our project on their property, their right of way, their infrastructure, etc.”
The Prospect MAX rapid bus line would run about 9 miles and cost $53.8 million for buses, shelters, road work and other infrastructure work to accommodate the bus line. It is slated to be built on Prospect Avenue from downtown Kansas City to 75th Street and Prospect.
The agreement outlines the financing plan for the project — including $29.8 million of federal funding, $8 million in federal surface transportation funds and local matching funds of $3.5 million from the KCATA, and $12.4 million from Kansas City.
The other key piece is what the KCATA and Kansas City each have to maintain once it’s built.
“Our federal transit partners are looking at this agreement,” Jarrold said. “From their standpoint, it needs to be in place before we start any construction.”
Construction on the project isn’t expected to begin until later this year. Next year will be the big year where people will see ground broken up and down the corridor. Bus service is expected to begin in mid-2019.