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Old December 29th, 2016, 09:33 AM   #161
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I still say you can't truly determine the success or failure of any system while it is free. If they want to extend it further from the city thru higher density areas that already have passable transit ridership then the streetcar will begin to negatively effect revenues as people go from taking a fared based bus to a free streetcar.

This would not only hurt operational revenues but also bring out a lot of neighbourhood conflicts as one area gets free transit and the other areas that don't have to take a fare increase or reduction in bus service in order to compensate for the lost revenue on the expanded streetcar route.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 12:12 PM   #162
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Though routing the bus lines along the same corridor as the streetcar doesn't make sense in itself, so your point is kind of invalid, since bus routes would be rerouted to complement rather than compete with the streetcar.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 07:21 AM   #163
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I can only assume they would extend the streetcar down a fairly densely populated area that already has above average transit ridership. That means the route{s} that the streetcar replaces are the most financially viable to run. People along these few busy routes would switch to paying for a bus to getting a free streetcar ride hence dropping revenues for the transit system.

The route seems to have been well designed as opposed to these stupid touristy circular routes some places are building but until they start charging transit fares to board it like the bus, you never will really know if the route is a viable part of transit infrastructure or just a fancy joy ride.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 12:00 PM   #164
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The purpose of a PT network is not to make money, even if cost efficiency is an issue of course. I think it makes perfect sense to subsidize a stub line. When the streetcar should become a line of proper length, which is integrated well into the greater network, and serves as its backbone, than one can decide to change the ticket system. If the city think it is worth it, one could create an entire core zone which is free to use, this has to be financed however, other than cutting back service elsewhere.

I personally like the concept used in Vienna with a subsidized city wide annual ticket. It is not for free but very cheap (365€ per year). That way people get a great deal, yet, it is not for free, so people feel compelled to use what they have paid for.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
Appreciate the videos. Curious, what day and time of day were those videos taken because the city seems nearly devoid of people?
Don't know about the video specifically showcasing the streetcar since it isn't mine, but the "Downtown Kansas City" video I shot over a couple weekends in May. There was an OK number of people there, but for many of the areas I went to, the weekend isn't going to be the busiest times of the week.

As for the beginning of the "Summer Time in Kansas City" video (which also is mine), there's quite a lot of people there.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 08:44 PM   #166
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In a city that is as spread out as Kansas ...
Just FYI, the full name of the city is "Kansas City." It's not like New York which really is, "The city of New York." That is, unlike New York which you can write as "New York, New York," it is improper to write "Kansas, Missouri" because the city's name isn't Kansas, it's "Kansas City." So you can only write "Kansas City, Missouri."

And of course there is also a Kansas City, Kansas right next to it, but that's a separate city.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 12:17 AM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
I still say you can't truly determine the success or failure of any system while it is free. If they want to extend it further from the city thru higher density areas that already have passable transit ridership then the streetcar will begin to negatively effect revenues as people go from taking a fared based bus to a free streetcar.

This would not only hurt operational revenues but also bring out a lot of neighbourhood conflicts as one area gets free transit and the other areas that don't have to take a fare increase or reduction in bus service in order to compensate for the lost revenue on the expanded streetcar route.
And again, another couple of wrongful and half-baked statements that clearly show a shallow and biased vision about this streetcar and about how transit works in USA.


Quote:
... This [extending the free streetcar route] would ... also bring out a lot of neighbourhood conflicts as one area gets free transit and the other areas that don't have to take a fare increase or reduction in bus service in order to compensate for the lost revenue on the expanded streetcar route.
I start with the second one, which is indisputably pointless: currently, the streetcar operations are funded through a TDD (Transportation Development District) - as I already mentioned in my last post, kindly providing a link for those who wish to learn about - and thus, while it's free of charge for the riders, the neighborhood actually pays for it, voluntarily. Free transit” isn't something one area gets, but rather something it earns: since this kind of scheme can be used to fund any transportation improvement, if other areas grow envious of the free-of-chargeness, they'll have at any time the choice of taxing themselves in order to have some free transit (although I highly doubt they'll be willing to do this for ordinary bus lines).


Quote:
... If they want to extend it further from the city thru higher density areas that already have passable transit ridership then the streetcar will begin to negatively effect revenues as people go from taking a fared based bus to a free streetcar. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
I can only assume they would extend the streetcar down a fairly densely populated area that already has above average transit ridership. That means the route{s} that the streetcar replaces are the most financially viable to run. People along these few busy routes would switch to paying for a bus to getting a free streetcar ride hence dropping revenues for the transit system.
...
Then, I move to the main point, which looks more grounded and reasonable: after your committed peroration, we can even see the leonine free streetcar that contends the juicy pulp to the poor fare-based buses, leaving to them only offal and bones, and it's also true that usually rerouting brings to a saving of service miles smaller than the ridership loss.
Being more accurate, the impact on the whole system depends on how big the piece of pulp is (= how much the district covered by streetcar extension contributes to the ridership of the whole metro area) and how the lion's share is (= how many of the previously bus ridership actually opts for the new free streetcar). However, if this were the only caveat to be added, your mistake would simply be having taken for granted something that is only likely.

Conversely, the issue we're speaking about can give rise to concerns only in a context where the system funding relies only or mainly on farebox revenues (like in an European country, where a level of coverage of operative expenses amounting to 35% is seen as the bare minimum). And it'is not the case.
Under the RideKC brand operates some Authorities, and among them KCATA (Kansas City Area Transportation Authority) is by far the largest: within its budget, only a mere 13,6% of the whole operating expenses are covered by fares. In this situation, even a huge downturn in fare revenues means only a little of uncovered expenses, quite a lot of which will be compensated by rerouting-related savings. We can say that US transit, being so heavily subsidized that it's already almost complimentary, is spared (somewhat by its own limits) from negative effects related to a free streetcar line competition, even in the worst-case scenario.

But glancing at actual figures, we can see how absurd your scaremongering really is. Since May, when the streetcar operations started, the whole RideKC bus average ridership* has shown a decrease of 9,8% (compared to the same period of 2015), not entirely due to the streetcar: in the fist four months of the year there was a decrease of ~5%. Assuming that the 5% difference are all people who switched from paid bus to free streetcar and that decrease in farebox revenues is just as big, the weight in the budget was negligible (-0,68%, about ⅟₁₅₀ of the total needed fund).


* according to USDoT National Transit Database latest data release (October 2016), available for download here.
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Last edited by Yak79; January 1st, 2017 at 02:39 PM. Reason: fixing a broken link
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Old January 1st, 2017, 11:14 AM   #168
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So, it is funded thru alternative revenues which is great and being free certainly makes the service very enticing.

That is great for now as long as the provider TDD keeps the funding going. My point is that when it ever gets extended they are going to have to start charging fares especially when it reaches well outside of the area that TDD represents. I know that transit is not built to be made profitable but that does not mean it doesn't have to be viable. Anybody will take advantage of a free service eventually and for now you could say it is OK but only when they extend and then have to start charging transit fares will you get a clear indication of the difference between people who like the service but only because it's free and those who like the service enough that they would actually pay for it.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:40 AM   #169
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New KC petition would require a citywide vote for streetcar expansion

A Kansas City group has filed petition signatures with the city clerk’s office seeking to require a citywide vote before any streetcar expansion can occur.

The city attorney’s office will review the petition to see if it’s legal and passes constitutional muster[...]
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Old January 27th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #170
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Survey shows KC streetcar is downtown small-business booster

Kansas City’s downtown stores and other small retail establishments say the streetcar has been good for business[...]
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Old May 26th, 2017, 08:49 PM   #171
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From Metro Report

http://www.metro-report.com/news/lig...oks-south.html

Kansas City Streetcar looks south
24 May 2017



USA: The KC Streetcar Authority and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority have selected the KC Streetcar Southern Extension Technical Services consortium to study a southern extension of the city’s starter tram line.

The consortium is led by HDR and includes Burns & McDonnell, HNTB, Trekk Design Group, Hg Consult, Parson + Associates, VSM Engineering and Architectural & Historical Research

...
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Old June 5th, 2017, 08:09 PM   #172
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May has lengthened the streak for KC streetcar, with the fifth month in a row of ridership growth from a somewhat slack winter season (which made some hasty observers prematurely say the “honeymoon period” between the city and its streetcars was over). On Saturday 6th, the line celebrated its first birthday marking the highest single-day ridership ever, over 17˙000 trips, after having welcomed on board the two millionth passenger just the day before: an achievement that literally doubles forecasts for the first year of service.

And the future looks promising: if we draw a comparison with last year “overlapping” period (6th-31st May), it'll show an 8% rise; moreover, despite weekend being still the cornerstone of ridership, weekdays also never but once have gone below the projected 2˙700 trips since April.
Meanwhile, a mail-in ballot election about widening southward the TDD (Transportation Development District) is being held: this would be the first step to extend the line from the current terminus at Union Station toward UMKC.





Kansas City streetcar line ridership performances, drawn according to data released by KCSA (Kansas City Streetcar Authority)
* data from 6th May (grand opening) onward - by way of comparison, during the same time interval this year there were 183,015 boardings



Here, two online articles about the anniversary - and about how the streetcar actually is worthy transit for some everyday users, like Mr. Wehmuller's story attests -
from 41 KSHB (5 May 2017)
from Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri news (7 May 2017)
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Last edited by Yak79; June 6th, 2017 at 12:30 AM. Reason: fixing some errors in the chart caption
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Old June 5th, 2017, 08:18 PM   #173
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the streetcar traffic is going to dip every winter. I've lived downtown for nearly a decade and the amount of people that come downtown from other parts of the city or from out of town for the city market (farmers market), first fridays (art walk), and for everything else like just going to bars/clubs always dips hardcore in the cold months.

Downtown goes from a ghost town during January weekends to overcrowded when the warm weather starts.

Also there are two expansions currently in the works

1) a short expansion to the Berkley riverfront park, the area is poised for growth with several urban apartment projects planned along the riverfront park. They are trying to do this without an election.

2) major expansion to the south which will more than double the length of the route (to the "plaza" and UMKC), which will be voted on in a special election in about a month. (I've already requested my ballot and will be voting YES!)

If both expansions happen, that will expand the current 2.2 mile route to about 5.7 miles. (one way)


South Expansion:


Riverfront Park Expansion:


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Old June 30th, 2017, 04:07 PM   #174
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From Metro Report

http://www.metro-report.com/news/lig...ase-by-50.html

Kansas City Streetcar fleet to increase by 50%
30 Jun 2017



USA: Kansas City council approved the purchase of two additional CAF Urbos trams on June 29 to meet increasing demand on the KC Streetcar. Deliveries are due in 24 months.

The vehicles will cost $11·9m, which includes including $2·1m for spare parts and inspection support. The purchase will be paid for using Transportation Development District funds, which are available as a result of faster than expected growth in sales tax proceeds, as well as stabilised operational expenses

...
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Old June 30th, 2017, 09:30 PM   #175
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I wish we could get those extra cars faster than 24 months...
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