City Worries Lawsuit Could Delay Streetcar Start

The developers of the Kansas City streetcar system are warning the project could be delayed by a lawsuit.

The city’s bus driver’s union filed a lawsuit Thursday against the city.

The lawsuit claims the city should not hire streetcar operators until an arbitration ruling is issued.

The drivers union believes they had a deal to have the first chance at the jobs.
“We have a hiring process that is open to all. And certainly anyone and everyone is welcome to come here and apply for a job,” said city spokesman Chris Hernandez.

The head of the bus driver’s union local, J. P Walker, said he could not speak without approval from his national headquarters.

The city plans to hire 19 streetcar operators and several maintenance works for the four cars.

The streetcar is designed to run from the city’s River Market shopping district at the north end of downtown, south to the Union Station area.

The system is expected to start operating this spring.

A hearing on the lawsuit has not been scheduled yet.

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