RFI launched for US$280 million streetcar P3 in Kansas City

RFI launched for US$280 million streetcar P3 in Kansas City

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The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA), in partnership with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for innovative project delivery methods to support the extension and operations of the Kansas City streetcar. The cost estimates of the extension projects amount to more than US$280 million.

The existing KC Streetcar system is a 2.2 route mile (3.54km) (4.4 track mile) modern streetcar system that runs in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The street-running service connects major employment, residential, and entertainment destinations including Union Station/Crown Center, Crossroads, Power & Light Entertainment District, Sprint Arena, Financial District, and the River Market.

Currently, two independent streetcar extension projects are in planning:

  • 0.75 mile Riverfront Extension via the Grand Avenue Viaduct to Berkley Riverfront Park
  • 3.5 mile Main Street Extension from Union Station to the University of Missouri, Kansas City Volker Campus.

The authorities are exploring the potential of using a DBOM/F or related delivery model with an availability payment structure to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the project/s. Under this model, a private consortium would be responsible for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the project/s as well as securing the financing to fund all or a portion of design and construction.

The authorities anticipate that they would make periodic availability payments over a long-term period beginning after the completion of construction, subject to an availability regime and performance standards. The authorities are also exploring the use of milestone payments during construction to offset a portion of the funding requirement.

The RFI seeks information on project delivery options including operations / maintenance and finance methods related to a combined (two-part) extension, inclusive of both Riverfront and Main Street, or an individual extension (Riverfront or Main Street). The authorities would like to receive the views, opinions, and feedback of respondents and their perspectives on the innovative delivery models under consideration (and others as appropriate), as well as the technical aspects and financial and commercial terms of the project.

For more information on the RFI, see the Business Opportunity.

The Riverfront Extension would extend the streetcar service 0.75 miles (1.2km) north, and involve the construction of a new terminus station. A feasibility study for the project has been completed. The capital cost estimate is US$32 million.

The Main Street extension would extend the existing line 3.5 miles (5.6km) south. A study of the project was completed in 2014, and outlined alignment options in the Main Street Corridor. The authorities contracted design firm HDR to undertake project development work in August 2017. The estimated capital costs are US$250 million, with an additional US$5 million annual O&M cost (not inclusive of starter-line operations costs).

This expansion is supported by a citizen effort to implement a larger Transportation Development District (TDD) that will replace the current downtown TDD, using the same revenue tools (retail sales tax and special assessments). This district was legally formed in August 2017, a Board of Directors elected in October 2017, and a final “revenue” election will be scheduled in early 2018.

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