UPDATED: Streetcar construction halfway there; new proposed hours
“Sometime this fall”: That’s the end date for the jackhammers, trucks and trenches — and the accompanying detour signs and one-lane traffic — that those of us who work downtown between the River Market and Union Station have been contending with since last summer.
Tom Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, tells The Kansas City Star that the close of construction should dovetail with the arrival of the streetcar vehicles (there will be four in all) in September. A few months of test runs will follow, with a tentative public debut for the streetcar set for early 2016.
“We’re shooting for the first quarter of the year,” Gerend said. “The quicker we can open to the public, the better off we’ll be.”
The Department of Public Works also has some updated logistical information regarding the streetcar. The hours of operation have been reduced from earlier estimates. As of now, streetcar operating hours will be:
Monday through Thursday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Originally, the hours called for service until midnight from Monday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. We reached out to the city for comment regarding the reduction in operating hours, and will update if/when we hear back.
UPDATE: Chris Hernandez, KCMO communications director, says the schedule posted on the website is the correct version. “The proposed regulations manual is wrong. A staffer made the mistake while putting that together and they are fixing it right now.”
To clarify, streetcars hours:
Monday through Thursday: 6 a.m. to midnight
Friday: 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The report also notes that streetcars will arrive at 10-minute intervals during peak periods. There will be as high as 18-minute intervals during off-peak hours.