At the polls and behind the scenes there is an EPIC battle underway to influence the fate of Kansas City transit and public policy.

Power companies, consultants and politicos have dominated the discussion among the mainstream media but there are countless options and opinions still unheard by local voters.

Accordingly, we'd like to direct attention to the brilliant work of Fritz Maffry who is a top source of inspiration and insight on all things transit and tech impacting KCMO.

Moreover . . .


Sure, locals are enthusiastic about the future of Tesla but also other far reaching improvements in how the populace moves around a city beyond traditional thinking.

Here's the word and a brilliant local perspective:

Fritz: Snapshot Update, communities and cities transformed, it is all about the neighborhoods

For some time we have been talking about the Tsunami of change via pools of autonomous shuttles about to roll over our neighborhoods, communities, cities, towns

Despite the local fixation on all things Streetcar, the real change agent is not the smart city so far engaged, in fact that is more like testifying to the veracity of visions of those speaking in tongues. Frankly they have mostly missed the plot of the smartest thing for the city, new transport based on pools of autonomous vehicles. The machinery is locked on something very near being totally obsoleted. The most powerful brands on the planet are on the case, Google, Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, and all the forward automotive entities. The near futures are to blow by the economics and the responsiveness of the Streetcar. The slow planning cycles of the urban planners, and their conceptual confusion on how to prioritize this relatively and engage with disruptive futures have us wasting a fortune. To pretend that meetings are forward accomplishments, well only in bureaucracyville.

10 X

This is the expected relative cost advantage of autonomous pools by our early calculations. Responsiveness is also substantially advantaged, for example a two minute cycle time on pick up frequency is realistic, as compared to a 15 to 20 minute transit cycle time on the Streetcar, for less money. We have shared this, also the low cost solar power configuration included in the pricing model. It doesn't have a mega centralized project for the pork interests though, so you can imagine where the political special interest money is going. Resilience, advantage autonomous pools, scalability up and down to meet demand, advantage autonomous pools. The game is over, just not with the crony stuffed transit interests. Google and Apple know where the game is going. Of course you can take Sly and Troy's word for the superiority of their surety in the Streetcar futures as compared to autonomous, or accept that Reardon and Robbie of the ATA are better at innovation than Google, Apple, and Tesla.

They can't imagine the ipod, they only know the Sony Walkman

The public is having special interests narrowly present options, usually already preselected for the fix. Of course that is the case with the Streetcar, as it was for the airport. Now, better options are exploding on the scenes. Way too much money is going to building Streetcars and parking garages, and marginal projects that benefit insiders. They developers should be freshening their plans for this near term coming revelation of transit and information. The smart city effort is a kitchen sink excuse that is not addressing the biggest change agent of the decade in cities, the complete transformation of all things community by pools of autonomous pods. Build your parking lots, plan your ten year roll out of Streetcar expansion. Just know Google, Apple, Tesla and two dozen others are about to turn the game board upside down.

Scorecard, they will be held accountable for what happens on their watch, last ten years in analysis

Minimal Solar, minimal multi mode, weak flow design of on off stops, no autonomous pilots, monopoly control of electric vehicle roll out in with uninspired lack of diversity. Little emphasis of renewables in power loop of transit. Very uninspired, mediocre, and about to be obsoleted. This reflects poorly on the region, the Super Techs that we covet so much are watching. The private pond of our usual suspects is about to become much more in the public spotlight. If you miss the plot, expect to become irrelevant or retired.

New ways for new outcomes, the battle lines are being drawn

For most of the last decade, you couldn't tell if Marc, the ATA, the City, the Chamber, really whomever had coherent responsibility for such things. As usual the machine operated in coin operated fashion based on priorities of the usual suspects and mediocre bureaucracy. If you don't stand up high integrity leadership and act towards the future in responsive ways, then you waste so much and miss the plot. In fact the smart city effort has missed the plot, as has the current Streetcar expansion. The options we are presented are, do you want your Streetcar stop here or there. Fundamentally they have missed the plot. Now examples will tell the story, much more eloquently than the backscratch mediocrity of bureaucrats that have been holding back progress in these areas, on purpose.

Smart Cities, Smart Transit, not from the bureaucrats

Solar report card, D. Autonomous report card, D, Electric Vehicle ecosystem with multimode transit working with independent renewables, D. Marc, the ATA, the City, the Chamber, they should all take a bow for this showing. Forward thinking outstanding planning getting ready for disruption from the most innovative firms of our times, pretty much missing in action. Missouri is an 80% coal powered state, not exactly an exemplar of much of anything there. Time for leadership clean sweep and to expect disruption as the new normal.

Developing . . .


  1. Absolutely.

    We've got to get out of a transit mindset from the 1800s and move into the future.

    Electric buses and even greater rideshare access also need to be examined.

    Don't forget about more people telecommuting TKC. The days of luring people into a single city square might be gone forever. In the future, we have to think about making every part of KCMO more accessible and friendly to transit and tech.

    1. Tesla can get expensive but it's a lot cheaper than a 200 million dollar streetcar that the taxpayers have to fund without a REAL vote.

      Think about it.

    2. ^^^ Some of us are thinking long term and in the end moving toward electric actually saves money.

  2. The point that always stumps streetcar supporters is mentioning the bus and how it accomplishes all of the same goes as rail transit but is less expensive, cleaner as we move to electric buses and far more maneuverable.

  3. Meet George Jetson,Jane his we all grow handlebar mustaches and think we arent gay cause we blew a guy when we were drunk!

  4. The problem with the streetcar is the streetcar the way that they built the thing was totally backward and didn't take into account the voters at all. It's not the tech it's the deception that is the worst problem with how Kansas City addresses the future.

  5. Fucking unreadable gobbledygook.

    1. sorry u don't understand geezer. Please go back and watch more Matlock reruns.

  6. A little utopian, but some good points. Ones not mentioned include: good rail systems rely on hub and spoke, and ones that were consistently updated since being built a century ago are the only ones worth keeping.
    A big reason why city hall wanted the streetcar is to get a bunch of federal cash. This may have been a way to generate jobs in the past, but I doubt too many local jobs were created by the construction, most were contractors from out of town. Also responsible politicians think about how this effects the rest of the country. The Federal money allocated to this project was wasted.
    Now our roads need repairing and they are raising taxes to deal with it. The buses have cut back on service. Great job Sly guy.

  7. KCMO needs a cheap way to move the 25 million visitors from one tourist attraction to the next. Might be cheaper and safer to rebuild all the tourist attractions next to each other.

  8. The Philosopher Joni Mitchell has provided us with the answer...
    starting at Admiral Blvd and Grand, let's "pave Paradise and put up a parking lot" extending three blocks east and south to I-70.

    Think of how many problems this would solve for the City.

  9. Screw Tesla, that concept became obsolete in the 1940s -
    let's do nothing and wait for the "Flying Cars" we've been promised.

  10. Worst creating writing I have read in awhile.

    Autonomous cars/cabs will be here before the last antiquated track can be completed.
    Trains are a total waste.


  11. Really liked the take from Fritz. Seems like he puts a lot more thought into his work than what I have read from the streetcar proponents.


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