The new 2-mile KC Streetcar is zipping away across the downtown core, ushering groups and locals into a new era of smart city technology in the process.
Sensors along the track detect everything from a setting sun and awaiting passengers to blockages along the path and react accordingly. Meanwhile, track-side kiosks display curated content on “must-do” things across the city, and groups can partake in hop-on, hop-off experiences at 16 stops—from dine arounds to shopping for artisanal goods and hard-to-find vinyl records (KC is amidst a vinyl revival).
The streetcar heads into Union Station, Crossroads Arts (where the 40-gallery crawl, food truck and entertainment “First Fridays” extravaganza happens the first Friday of every month), Power and Light and Central Business districts, as well as the historic River Market. It’s part of a much larger infrastructure overhaul or “renaissance” if you ask Cori Day, VP of sales and services for Visit KC.
“The debut of KC Streetcar has made a significant impact on the Kansas City convention experience. The streetcar quickly connects downtown hotels to the convention center, as well as our vibrant neighborhoods and districts.”
Eight major convention bookings (including Scentsy, Inc., a popular home and personal fragrances company) in everything from sports and education to religious and multicultural segments have chosen KC through 2020, injecting more than $32 million into the local economy. New proposals are calling for an expansion of the line to the Country Club Plaza, a move that would triple the route’s length and connect convention attendees with one of the city’s most iconic districts. And “this is just the latest innovation in Kansas City’s incredible renaissance—our community shows no signs of slowing down,” Day says.