OKC STREETCAR SYSTEM APPROACHING LAUNCHPublished: Monday, July 30, 2018 By: Nate Fisher Source: VeloCity
In 2009, voters approved a modern streetcar system as part of OKC’s landmark MAPS 3 projects. With the excitement of the first car’s delivery and a well-attended open house, as well as what you might call the “forced discovery” of new routes to familiar locations downtown due to rail construction, OKCitians understandably have plenty of anticipation and questions about the streetcar system.
The first implementation of the Regional Transit 2030 Fixed Guideway Plan, the OKC Streetcar will significantly improve pedestrian connectivity downtown, giving people the ability to move about more freely and enjoy downtown’s many amenities and activities without worrying about driving and parking--as well as helping introduce users to the larger public transit system, enhancing economic development along the route, and reducing congestion and air pollution to boot. Known as a “circulator,” the system is designed with possible expansion to the Deep Deuce/Oklahoma Health Center/innovation district area, the Capitol Hill district and others in mind should conditions favor it.
According to Scroggins, the system is about 90 percent complete when it comes to the construction that impacts road closures. All the utilities along the route have been cleared, and about 90 percent of the demolition work to lay track has been completed, with about 85 percent of the actual track installed. Revenue service is scheduled to begin late this year.