Planned Florida streetcar system approved

Posted on March 20, 2013

Rendering courtesy of the Downtown Development Authority of Fort Lauderdale.
Rendering courtesy of the Downtown Development Authority of Fort Lauderdale.
Plans for a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., streetcar system received unanimous approval Wednesday from the Broward County Commission, setting in motion financial agreements and partnerships that will make electric streetcar transportation a reality in the downtown area by 2016.

The electric streetcar, called "The Wave," will operate in part via overhead electrical wires in some areas and by battery power in others, according to a project release.

Initially, the streetcar will travel a 1.4-mile loop around inner downtown Fort Lauderdale. The next step, dependent on federal financing, will expand the route to 2.7 miles. A $50 million FTA grant has been requested to complete the entire system.

The total cost for building the 2.7-mile “Wave” is approximately $143 million and will come from federal, state and local sources. Broward County will be responsible for operational costs once the project is up and running.

System features include 10 stations, which will be solar-powered and be equipped with real-time arrival information and kiosks displaying destinations/attractions in the downtown, as well as upcoming community events.

A traffic signalization package is also part of project, which will help maintain headways of 7.5 minutes during peak periods and 10 minutes during off peak periods.

RELATED ARTICLE: Check out, "Streetcar Projects Breaking Ground Despite Uncertain Federal Future."

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