Welcome to the new Kansas City streetcar days.
The streamlined vehicles, which launched May 6, are showing riders parts of the city some people never see.
“These young guys are coming in here now,” said Keith Novorr, who runs Michael’s Fine Clothes. “All of a sudden we went from being a destination to right in the thick of things.”
Novorr echoes the take of other business owners along the 2.2-mile route from Union Station to City Market: Yes, the construction period was difficult, but now that the streetcars are running, business is better than before.
The system tallied its millionth ride early last month — seven months ahead of schedule. That’s a lot of new eyes seeing storefronts. Some parking issues still need to be resolved, business owners say. But for now, they’re seeing new faces come through the doors of their restaurants, shops and bars.
For City Market vendors, business is up more than 20 percent.
Read more: Kansas City Star