75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResCommunity and elected leaders in Blue Springs are consistently looking for opportunities to provide better services to our residents. Several years ago, as a downtown revitalization plan was developed for Blue Springs, we identified a number of key items that would advance development in the downtown corridor. A rail station that would act as a transit portal to the rest of the Kansas City region was an integral piece of the plan, as it would bring people into downtown Blue Springs and act as a catalyst for new development.

Recently, the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance held a number of public forums to share information about the new Regional Rail initiative supported by County Executive Mike Sanders and many of the Mayors in the Kansas City region. These forums provided an opportunity for the public to view a variety of potential plans for regional transportation, including a rail system that would encompass much of the Kansas City region.

Kansas City has a long history with railroads and has a significant amount of unused or underutilized track all over the metropolitan area. Utilizing these existing rails allow a regional rail system to be constructed quickly and cost-efficiently.

While no final determination has been made on rail stop locations, Blue Springs is anticipating a stop in downtown and hopefully an additional stop near the new Missouri Innovation Park (MIP). This would encourage redevelopment downtown and facilitate the development of MIP.

This regional rail proposal is an exciting development that has the potential to transform public transportation not only for Blue Springs, but the entire Kansas City region, bringing with it enhanced employment and tourism opportunities. The rail infrastructure already exists, which reduces the cost and shortens the implementation timeframe. Many community leaders and elected officials throughout Jackson County are eager to support the proposal including our own Mayor Carson Ross, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, and County Executive Mike Sanders, just to name a few.

I am excited about the opportunities that a regional rail plan can bring to the residents of Eastern Jackson County. I encourage everyone to take the time to examine the proposals and support expanded regional transportation alternatives. As Mayor Ross likes to say, “Blue Springs is On the Move!”

Information about the Kansas City Regional Transit vision can be found at http://bit.ly/kcrtarr