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Infrastructure

First, it was at the confluence of the Missouri River and Kansas River and the launching pointing for travelers on the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails. Then with the construction of the Hannibal Bridge across the Missouri River it became the central location for 11 trunk railroads. More rail traffic in terms of tonnage still passes through the city than any other city in the country. TWA located its headquarters in the city and had ambitious plans to turn the city into an air hub for the world. Missouri and Kansas were the first states to start building interstates with Interstate 70. Interstate 435, which encircles the entire city, is the second longest beltway in the nation. Today, Kansas City and its metropolitan area has more miles of limited access highway lanes per capita than any other large metro area in the United States, over 27% more than second-place Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, over 50% more than the average American metro area and nearly 75% more than the metropolitan area with the least: Las Vegas. The Sierra Club in particular blames the extensive freeway network for excessive sprawl and the decline of central Kansas City.[87] On the other hand, the relatively uncongested freeway network contributes significantly to Kansas City's position as one of America's largest logistics hubs.[88] [edit]Airports Kansas City International Airport Kansas City International Airport was built to the specifications of TWA to make a world hub for the supersonic transport and Boeing 747. Its passenger friendly design in which its gates were 100 feet (30 m) from the street has, since the September 11, 2001 attacks, required a costly overhaul to retrofit it to incorporate elements of a more conventional security system. Recent proposals have suggested replacing the three terminals with a new single terminal situated south of the existing runways, thus allowing the airport to operate during construction and to shave miles off the travel distance from downtown and the southern suburbs. Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport was the original headquarters of Trans World Airlines and houses the Airline History Museum. It is still used for general aviation and airshows. [edit]Public transportation Like most American cities, Kansas City's mass transit system was originally rail-based. An electric trolley network ran through the city until 1957. The rapid sprawl in the following years

ed this privately run system to be shut down. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) was formed with the signing of a Bi-State compact created by the Missouri and Kansas legislatures on December 28, 1965. The compact gives the KCATA responsibility for planning, construction, owning and operating passenger transportation systems and facilities within the seven-county Kansas City metropolitan area. These include the counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte in Missouri, and Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte in Kansas. Kansas City does not have a subway or light rail system. Several proposals to build one have been rejected by voters in the past. Voters approved the last light rail proposal but it was struck down when the city council decided to overrule voters. Kansas City has a long history with streetcars and trolleys. From 1870 to 1957 Kansas City's streetcar system was among the top in the country, with over 300 miles (480 km) of track at its peak. Following the decision to scrap the system, many of its former streetcars have been serving other American cities for a long time. In 2007, ideas and plans arose to add normal trolley lines, as well as possibly fast streetcars to the city's Downtown for the first time in decades. In July 2005, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) launched Kansas City's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line called "MAX" (Metro Area Express). MAX links the vibrant River Market, Downtown, Union Station, Crown Center and the Country Club Plaza. This corridor boasts over 150,000 jobs, as well as some of the area's most prestigious real estate and treasured cultural amenities.[citation needed][89] By design, MAX operates and is marketed more like a rail system than a local bus line. A unique identity was created for MAX, including 13 modern diesel buses and easily identifiable "stations". MAX features state-of-the-art technology to deliver customers a high level of reliability (real-time GPS tracking of buses, available at every station), speed (stoplights automatically change in their favor if buses are behind schedule) and comfort. In 2010 Another MAX line was added on Troost.[90] -On December 12, 2012, Kansas City Voters approved the construction of a 2.2 mile Streetcar downtown that will be operational by 2015. In addition, they are in the planning and development stages on the addition of other lines to be added the system.