I have the honor and privilege to be a Blue Springs representative on the Regional Rail Coalition. To date we have had two meetings, and everything I have heard so far is very exciting.

Susan Culpepper is chairman of the Blue Springs Planning Commission and a member of the Regional Rail Coalition.


I have the honor and privilege to be a Blue Springs representative on the Regional Rail Coalition. To date we have had two meetings, and everything I have heard so far is very exciting.

We are one of the largest counties that does not have rail transit. When we look at something as simple as commuting to and from work, the rail could translate into $7,000 to $9,000 a year savings for a family. That is a huge amount for a family with a medium income, especially during these tough economic times.

For the city of Blue Springs it would mean a big boost in economic development, especially in light of the recent agreement with the University of Missouri and the Innovation Park. People could walk or drive to downtown to catch the train. And what a great way to transport those working at the MU Center and Innovation Park from other communities.

It would introduce many to what is currently available in our downtown area and would lead to additional investment in the city. As we learned at our last meeting, “there are hundreds of building opportunities along the proposed corridors for development. More people want to live closer in, to be near shopping and entertainment, to have a chance to walk to school, church. Rail makes those types of neighborhoods.” This has been proven in those communities that have a rail system.

It is important to note that this rail plan is different than any previously voted on in the past. This plan is supported by Jackson County, Kansas City, the Mid-America Regional Council and the Kansas City Area Transit Authority and has the support of many of the mayors within the county.

Because Blue Springs already has an operating rail that goes through the city, we would be close to the top of the list for getting on board. Imagine, as other counties get involved, you could get on a train in Blue Springs and end up at the Legends. For those who like to shop, the rail opens up all kinds of possibilities. And it also means that those in other communities could come to Blue Springs. And wouldn’t it be nice to get on a train to go to the stadium and cheer on the Chiefs or Royals!

There is so much work to be done, but it is so very exciting for all of Jackson County and the rail gives Blue Springs a great opportunity to grow and shine.

Please mark your calendar and attend one of the following open meetings:

4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. today at the Gamber Center, 4 S.E. Independence Ave., Lee’s Summit. There will also be a display from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Blue Springs South Mid-Continent Library, 2220 S. Missouri 7. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St., Kansas City.

Information is also available at www.kcrta.org