#70 – Kansas City Streetcar
Downtown Kansas City
Good for: Exploring downtown Kansas City without a car.
Tip: Visit the streetcars’ website to track the car locations to avoid waiting.
Ride the Kansas City streetcar from Union Station to the River Market. With 16 stops and free service, the streetcar is the best way to explore downtown Kansas City.
The History of the Kansas City Streetcar
The history of streetcars in Kansas City dates back to the 1800s, when the first streetcars were horse-powered. By 1908, most of the city’s streetcar routes were electric.
In its heyday, Kansas City had one of the most extensive streetcar systems in the nation, with more than 25 different lines. Its final line shut down in 1957, as the city’s public transportation transitioned to buses.
About the Kansas City Streetcar
The Kansas City Streetcar has been a hot topic of debate for the past few years. It’s a pretty divisive subject, as many don’t want to mess with the construction or pay the taxes for the project. However, many others view it as a benefit, boosting Downtown’s accessibility, real estate value and foot traffic for businesses.
Whatever your opinion, the streetcar is a great way to travel around the Downtown Kansas City area. Driving in downtown can be stressful with the construction, one way streets and busy traffic. Despite the debate, people are using the streetcar. In the first year, more than 2,000,000 rides were taken on the streetcar.
The 2.2 mile streetcar route begins at Union Station following Main Street all the way to the River Market where it loops around and heads back down Main. There are 16 stops along the route for easy accessibility to many of Kansas City’s downtown attractions.
The ultimate goal of the streetcar is to connect the whole city. There have been motions to extend the streetcar North to Berkley Riverfront Park and South towards the Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Head to any stop along the streetcar route and wait for the streetcar to arrive. You can visit their website to track the streetcar, so you don’t miss the closest car. Currently, there are three streetcars, so the wait time is about 10 minutes in between cars.
When the streetcar arrives, wait for others to exit, then hop on. To exit, push the blue button to open the door.
Things to do along the streetcar route:
- City Market
- Kansas City Public Library
- Sprint Center
- Kauffman Center
- Kansas City Convention Center
- Power and Light
- The Midland
- Alamo Drafthouse
- Tom’s Town
- Up-Down Kansas City
- Town Topic
- The Rieger
- Union Station
- WWI Museum
The streetcar is perfect for exploring the downtown area. Hop on and hop off and visit some of the best parts of Kansas City. xx, Libbie.