Oklahoma City officials officially cut the ribbon on the MAPS 3 OKC Streetcar, bringing public transit on rails back to the city’s streets for the first time in generations.
“Our streetcar will be an important economic development tool for our entire city, accommodating visitors and residents alike. It will encourage walkability downtown, answer the question of how residents and visitors will circulate downtown once they arrive, and will inspire private investment all along the route,” said Mayor David Holt. “Already, we’ve seen $1.6 billion invested since the route was finalized, and we have every reason to believe that more will follow once the streetcar is open.”
The OKC Streetcar has two route options: the 4.8-mile Downtown Loop and two-mile Bricktown Loop.
The streetcar serves 22 platforms with five streetcars, which ride on rails flush with the street. The streetcars share the road with regular street traffic, and follow the same traffic rules. Streetcars may travel slower than some traffic and make frequent stops. Each OKC Streetcar stop is ADA-accessible for easy, level boarding with signage, real-time arrival information, covered shelters, and a ticket vending machine.
The streetcars use overhead wires for electric power on part of the route, and batteries for the rest. Each streetcar can carry 104 passengers, and each stop will be served every 15-18 minutes.
Herzog-Stacy and Witbeck built the rail line. Consultants include ADG, Jacobs Engineering, AECOM, and SOJ. EMBARK contracted Herzog Transit Services to manage OKC Streetcar’s day-to-day operations.
The project was funded through MAPS 3, which is an $805 million capital improvement program that is funded by a one-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ended in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks.