Economic Vitality

Maintain a multimodal transportation system that supports the efficient movement of people and goods and promotes economic development

Viable communities require investments today that will grow into the future. Our transportation system plays a crucial role in our continued economic vitality as we face challenges and competition from a global economy. We must pay attention to the foundations that attract good and stable employers — physical infrastructure such as airports and roads, and quality of life issues such as low crime rates, good schools, the arts and entertainment.


Supporting programs

These programs or initiatives can help us achieve our goals by directly advancing various plan strategies.

Performance Measures

Our transportation system must provide reliable access to amenities for the purpose of attracting investment, skilled labor and culture. Users of the system must easily move between job clusters, communities with strong identity, educational opportunities and activities for arts and culture.

A well-maintained system provides consistent and reliable travel times for commuters as well as freight trucks traveling to and through the region. Reliable schedules are critical for goods movement with today’s “just-in-time” delivery systems. This means reducing congestion through ongoing maintenance of roads and bridges as well as providing access to emergency vehicles to quickly clear crashes to keep trucks, and our economy, moving. MARC regularly monitors congestion, the most recent report Transportation Congestion and Reliability in Kansas City was completed in 2019. The map below shows travel time reliability for the region – areas in red are the most unreliable. Zoom in on the map and click on the points to see the condition of bridges around the region; use the layer list to turn on the pavement condition layers.  

System Reliability

Freight is fundamental to the region’s economy. It is how goods produced by area businesses get to market, how consumer goods and businesses’ supply components come to our market, and it represents an industry that supports over 100,000 regional jobs. The transportation of freight by air, barge, rail and truck is key to Greater Kansas City’s quality of life by virtue of the critical role these services play in its economy. The map below highlights truck corridors, rail yards and foreign trade zones. Use the layer list to explore the other types of the infrastructure that support the movement of freight in the Kansas City region.

Regional Freight Infrastructure


AIR QUALITY — Prioritize projects and programs that reduce ozone-forming and particulate emissions to ensure continued compliance with federal air quality standards and consistent with the Clean Air Action Plan.

COMPLETE AND GREEN STREETS — Design, build and maintain streets that are safe and convenient for all travelers, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders and freight, and that use natural systems to enhance stormwater management, mitigate heat islands, improve air and water quality to create desirable corridors connecting walkable activity centers. Complete streets information

EQUITABLE INVESTMENT — Support greater investment in transportation projects that address the needs of disadvantaged populations and communities and ensure more equitable outcomes.

GOODS MOVEMENT — Support the safe and efficient multimodal movement of goods across the region’s highways and roadways, railroads, ports and airports and ensure that freight and logistics facilities are developed in alignment with land-use, workforce and environmental goals.

MOBILITY HUBS — Work with local governments to develop, fund and build mobility hubs in key activity centers where transit services connect with a variety of other mobility services so people can easily switch from bike to bus, rent a car or bike, hail a ride, meet a vanpool, or charge an electric vehicle.

MORE MODE CHOICES — Prioritize broader implementation of accessible mobility services, such as bicycle, scooter and car-sharing options, as well as microtransit services to supplement fixed-route transit with first/last mile solutions.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION — Expand and enhance transit services along high-demand corridors as recommended in the Smart Moves Plan. Provide microtransit, or other on-call, curb-to-curb mobility services for lower-density areas throughout the region to provide an appropriate balance between ridership and coverage goals.

REGIONAL CONNECTIONS — Support improvements to intercity passenger and freight transportation facilities and services that connect our region to domestic and international markets.

SYSTEM EFFICIENCY — Design, fund and implement projects and programs that improve and maintain reliable, efficient system operations, including transportation demand management strategies, transportation system management and operations, and intelligent transportation systems consistent with regional congestion management policies.

SYSTEM PRESERVATION — Allocate adequate funding and employ effective asset management practices to preserve and maintain the region’s transportation systems in a state of good repair.

Close Search Window