Oklahoma City Streetcar

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Oklahoma City Streetcar
OKC Streetcar (38923640550).jpg
The first Brookville Liberty streetcar for Oklahoma City, a few weeks after its arrival. It wears one of three different paint schemes planned.[1]
Overview
Other name(s)OKC Downtown Streetcar
TypeStreetcar
SystemEmbark
StatusOperational[2]
LocaleOklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Stations22 stops
Services2
Websitehttp://okcstreetcar.com
Operation
OpenedDecember 14, 2018 (2018-12-14)[3]
OwnerCity of Oklahoma City
Operator(s)Herzog Transit Services
CharacterAt-grade
Rolling stock7 Brookville Liberty Modern Streetcars[4]
Technical
Line length4.6 mi (7.4 km)[6]
Track length5.6 mi (9.0 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification740 V DC overhead wire;[5] lithium-ion battery
Operating speed30 mph (48 km/h)
Route Diagram

Dewey Avenue
North Hudson
Midtown
NW 10th Street
Art Park
Law School
Automobile Alley
Memorial Museum
Broadway Avenue
Federal Courthouse
Transit Center
Business District
Library
Myriad Gardens
Scissortail Park
Century Center
Arena
Santa Fe Hub
Bricktown
Ballpark
Mickey Mantle
East Bricktown
One of three planned color schemes is the "Clear Blue sky",[6] seen here on the third car.

The Oklahoma City Streetcar (OKC Streetcar), also known as the MAPS 3 streetcar, is a streetcar system in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The 4.6-mile (7.4 km)[6] system serves the greater downtown Oklahoma City area using modern, low-floor streetcars,[4] the first of which was delivered in mid-February 2018.[7] The initial system would see two lines that connect Oklahoma City's Central Business District with the entertainment district, Bricktown, and the Midtown District.[8] Expansion to other districts surrounding downtown as well as more routes in the CBD is already underway[citation needed].

The fare is $1 or $0.50 for seniors at least 65, disabled or Medicare via Embark ID card once it opens, and all riders need a ticket. 30/7/1-Day Passes are bought via TVMs.

History[edit]

The streetcar was first conceived in a 2005 regional transit study known as the Fixed Guideway Study. The concept lay dormant until a local Oklahoma City businessman, inventor, and political activist named Jeff Bezdek promoted the project to the Oklahoma City Council to be considered as part of Metropolitan Area Projects Plan 3 (MAPS 3) program.[9] Bezdek launched a strategic campaign called the Modern Transit Project to generate public support for the initiative.[10] Polling indicated that the streetcar plan had a majority of support from likely voters.[11] The Oklahoma City Council incorporated the concept into the MAPS program.

The system is financed through MAPS 3, a sales tax-financed public works program. The initiative was approved in 2009 via a majority vote by the citizens of Oklahoma City.[12]

On September 29, 2015, the Oklahoma City city council approved the awarding of a $22 million contract to Inekon, of the Czech Republic, for the purchase of five streetcars,[13] as well as spare parts and training.[14] However, after Inekon failed to meet a one-month deadline for submitting required financial-guarantee information, project staff recommended switching to Brookville Equipment Corporation, another manufacturer that had also bid for the order.[15] On November 10, the city council voted its approval for the staff to begin negotiations with Brookville for the streetcar contract.[15] In March 2016, the city reached a final agreement with Brookville to purchase five streetcars, with an option for a sixth, at a cost of $24.9 million.[16] The low-floor design will be Brookville's "Liberty" model.[17] The first streetcar arrived on February 12, 2018 (and was unloaded onto the rails the following day),[18] and by March 12, three of the seven on order had arrived.[1] Three different color schemes are due to be used, with three cars in a "redbud" color, two in blue and two in green,[1] along with white for a portion of each car.

In December 2016, the city council awarded a $50 million contract for rail installation to builders Herzog and Stacy and Witbeck, with construction planned to begin in early 2017 and continue for about two years.[19] The formal groundbreaking for the project took place on February 7, 2017.[4] The project was expected to cost a total of $131.8 million in 2017,[4] but this had increased to $136 million by 2018.[3] Service commenced at 10 a.m. on December 14, 2018, followed by three days of celebrations.[3]

Design[edit]

The streetcar system is one of the conventional type using steel rails embedded into city streets, with modern vehicles powered from overhead electric wires. The streetcars are planned to be in use with everyday traffic. Initially, five vehicles were slated to be ordered. A sixth car was slated to be purchased through MAPS 3 with options for six more vehicles beyond the initial purchase. The streetcar vehicles was required to operate wirelessly for several hundred feet under the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway bridges that separate downtown Oklahoma City central business district from the Bricktown entertainment district.[20]

Operations[edit]

The city has contracted with Herzog Transit Services to operate the line and provide day-to-day maintenance.[21]

Frequency[edit]

Streetcars operate at around 8-12-minute intervals at designated pedestrian shelters along the 4.6-mile route.

List of streetcar stops[edit]

     Downtown Loop
     Bricktown Loop

Loop between Bricktown and Midtown

No. Station Intersection Line Notes
1 East Bricktown Joe Carter and Flaming Lips Alley          
2 Ballpark Johnny Bench and Mickey Mantle Drives          
3 Santa Fe Hub Reno and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard          
4 Arena Reno and Robinson          
5 Scissortail Park Oklahoma City Boulevard and Robinson          
6 Myriad Gardens Hudson and Sheridan          
7 Library Hudson and Park     
8 Transit Center Hudson and NW 4th     
9 Federal Courthouse NW 4th and Robinson     
10 Broadway Avenue Broadway and NW 4th     
11 Automobile Alley Broadway and NW 8th     
12 Campbell Art Park Broadway and NW 11th     
13 North Hudson NW 11th and Hudson     
14 Dewey Avenue Dewey and NW 10th     
15 Midtown NW 10th and Hudson     
16 NW 10th Street NW 10th and Robinson     
17 Law School Robinson and NW 7th     
18 Memorial Museum Robinson and NW 4th     
19 Business District Robinson and Park     
20 Century Center Sheridan and Robinson          
21 Bricktown Sheridan and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard          
22 Mickey Mantle Sheridan and Mickey Mantle Drive          

Planned expansion[edit]

Major expansion of the Oklahoma City Streetcar system beyond the first phase is already being planned. A steering committee made up of local mayors, city councillors, and other civic leaders approved plans for major expansion from the MAPS 3 system northward up the major thoroughfare Classen Boulevard to the planned 63rd street commuter rail station stop and southward from downtown along Walker to the south 25th street (future) commuter-rail stop in Capitol Hill. Additional plans have also been discussed for streetcar expansion to Oklahoma City University through the historic Plaza District northwest of the initial starter line.[22]

Project oversight[edit]

The Oklahoma City Streetcar project as part of the MAPS initiative is overseen by a committee appointed by the mayor and city council of Oklahoma City. The original promoter of the streetcar system, Jeff Bezdek, is appointed to committee along with several other volunteers from the original Modern Transit Project initiative.[23] Recommendations from this committee are formally made to the MAPS 3 oversight board which then makes recommendations to the Oklahoma City Council to be potentially enacted as policy.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Crum, William (March 12, 2018). "Deliveries, testing continue at Oklahoma City streetcar maintenance facility". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  2. ^ https://newsok.com/article/5617818/okc-streetcar-draws-a-crowd
  3. ^ a b c Crum, William (October 1, 2018). "OK: Weekend-Long Celebration to Mark Oklahoma City Streetcar Debut". McClatchy. Retrieved October 2, 2018 – via Mass Transit magazine.
  4. ^ a b c d Crum, William (February 8, 2017). "Streetcar work begins in Bricktown". The Oklahoman. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Franklin, Dallas (June 14, 2018). "Streetcar vehicles to begin testing along Bricktown Loop". KFOR. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "OKC Streetcar". Embark. Retrieved September 8, 2018.[dead link]
  7. ^ "First Oklahoma City Streetcar delivered". Metro. February 14, 2018. ISSN 1098-0083. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "Modern Streetcar/Transit". City of Oklahoma City. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Lackmeyer, Steve (July 14, 2009). "Streetcar plan may open downtown transit route". The Oklahoman. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Fenwick, Ben (November 5, 2009). "Officials: Downtown rail initiative in MAPS 3 can serve as future framework". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  11. ^ Shapard Research (September 2009). "MAPS 3 Survey, September 13–15, 2009" (PDF). Oklahoma Gazette, News 9. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  12. ^ John Estus and Brian Dean (December 9, 2009). "Oklahoma City Voters Say Yes to MAPS 3 Proposal". The Oklahoman.
  13. ^ "Inekon to supply Oklahoma City Streetcars". Railway Gazette International. September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  14. ^ Fultonberg, Lorne (September 30, 2015). "Oklahoma City council approves $23 million streetcar contract". KFOR-TV. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Crum, William (November 10, 2015). "Oklahoma City Council votes to change MAPS 3 streetcar manufacturers". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  16. ^ "Oklahoma City OKs $24.9 million contract to buy five streetcars from Brookville". Progressive Railroading. March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  17. ^ Barrow, Keith (March 23, 2016). "Oklahoma City orders Brookville LRVs". International Railway Journal. UK. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  18. ^ Crum, William (February 12, 2018). "Oklahoma City's first streetcar is rolled - slowly - off a flatbed truck". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Oklahoma City council moves forward with streetcar plans". Trains magazine. November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  20. ^ Felder, Ben (July 8, 2014). "Streetcar still on track". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "OKC Streetcar service begins" (Press release). City of Oklahoma City. December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Felder, Ben (August 18, 2014). "Regional rail-based transit system plan could reach voters in a few years". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  23. ^ Koon / Creative Vega, Patrick W. Moore. "Welcome - Modern Transit Project in Oklahoma City". mtpokc.com.
  24. ^ "MAPS3 Citizens Advisory Board". Oklahoma City. Retrieved February 16, 2017.

External links[edit]