Kansas City Light Rail Initiative (2008)

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The Light-rail system was a public transportation ballot measure that was proposed in Kansas City, which lies in Jackson County, Clay County, Cass County and Platte County. It would have created a 12 mile track of light rail around the city for $75 million per mile, with a total cost of over $900 million. The drive was dropped when the chief sponsor decided to move to Nevada.[1]

Ron Aryel began collecting signatures on the Presidential Primary of 2008 for his petition for a light-rail system in Kansas City.[2]

Aryel is a member of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority's citizens light rail task force, and his petition calls for following the task force's recommendation for a light rail starter route -- 12 miles from Vivion Road across the Missouri River to the Country Club Plaza, with an eastern branch to Prospect Avenue.[3]

The light-rail has also gained the backing of the Kansas City Mayor, Mark Funkhouser who presented his plan to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Funkhouser's plan entails would be financed by an initial five-county, half cent sales tax; create an oversight board with equal representation from Missouri and Kansas; and would require equal track lines on each side of the state line. However, he also gave the light-rail a 34 percent chance of making the November ballot.[4]

To include Kansas or not?

Missouri State Rep Holsman has introduced the idea of not relying on Kansas in or to build the light-rail system. The tenor of the meeting was clear -- Missouri can't wait for Kansas on light rail. "We are not going to depend on their political will to deliver a mass transit system to our citizens," he said.[5]


The Mayor of Overland Park believes the expansion would be a waste of the city's money and has come out opposing it. The city has only 1000 riders of the ATA and he doesn't see an increase if the light-rail was built.