TKC QUESTION: WILL KANSAS CITY TOY TRAIN STREETCAR EVER PAY OFF???
We've been getting a lot of questions about the toy train streetcar in the aftermath of a poorly attended celebration of one million riders.
To wit . . .
AT THE OUTSET OF A VOTE ON THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR EXTENSION . . . OUR BLOG COMMUNITY DEMANDS ANSWERS OF REVENUE AND ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR CHOO-CHOO!!!
Remember that over the past year we've compared the boasts about ridership and they don't add up with numbers from bigger, better cities with more established rail transit.
Accordingly, here's the complaint and open question that streetcar cheerleaders must answer . . .
"We were promised the trolley would bring jobs & merchants. All we have some far is a darn expensive tourist attraction costing KCMO citizens over $8 million per year."
Important backup reference for that figure . . .
"The debt service for the bonds is based on the 4.42 percent interest rate is $4.4 million a year for 24 years. According to the streetcar's current budget, it will cost about $4 million to operate the system in the next year. With the debt payment, the total cost of the two-mile stretch is $8.4 million in the next year."
Add this to the over-budget construction of the starter line that costs anywhere from $150-200 MILLION . . . And all these concerns begin to add up as the streetcar eschews a fare that would potentially contribute millions to its operation . . . While many believe that the high priced extension proposal is a clandestine effort to bypass a citywide vote in order to keep the Midtown rail transit scheme going over the objections of many merchants and biz owners along the route.
You decide . . .