Oklahoma City

STREETCARS COME TO DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY

After years of debate, $130 million of the MAPS 3 program will go toward a streetcar project in Oklahoma City. This is a project independent of the commuter rail project that will extend to Norman, Midwest City, Yukon and Edmund and is intended to facilitate travel within Oklahoma City. MAP 3 stands for Metropolitan Area Projects, a bundle of 9 major Oklahoma City projects originally funded by a 5 year, 1 cent sales tax increase back in 2003.

The downtown project will be quite pricey as it has been estimated that the cost of laying tracks will run $20 million per mile, with the city only receiving 5 or 6 miles from the MAPS 3 fund. Streetcar supporters hope that the city can secure federal funds to enhance the project.

Of course, no project comes without debate on cost effectiveness. Although some feel it is too expensive, and believe that perhaps a rubber type streetcar would be more economical, Mark Gibbs, a member of the MAPS 3 transit committee, feels strongly in favor of the project, which would expand and improve the transit system in the area.

Gibbs says, "I see the streetcar, and the hub and the commuter rail as very much intertwined. The streetcar will introduce people in Oklahoma City to mass transit."

Gibbs also believes that there are many that do not use public transit, and with the addition of the streetcar they may change their minds. Even with a high start-up cost, Gibbs noted it will have a much lower operating cost than other modes of transportation in the city.

Other committee members feel the addition will allow people to travel through the downtown more easily, and it would be a great way to encourage people to use public transport, instead of wasting gas with private cars.

With a streetcar, many will stop and think twice about using their private cars which will save them money, and also be a good alternative for the environment.

If you are ready to move to an area with economical public transit, which will save you time and money - check out our area. Please contact me online or call me at 405-366-1111 or check out my website, and start searching for that perfect home in Blanchard, as well as Moore, Norman, Edmund, and Oklahoma City.

 

Streetcar Line – Partially Funded – 2014
5 or 6-mile new line would run from downtown in a north-south transit mall with an extension to a north central neighborhood

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Project would provide access to Union Station, where commuter rail and high-speed rail lines would be located .


Funded by city’s approval of MAPS3 sales tax in November 2009


Cost likely to be around $130 million, though project’s size could increase with state or federal funding

The first goal of the MTP is to reinstate an electric streetcar system in the Downtown/Central City area. The original streetcar system was once powered by the Belle Isle Power Station through the burning of coal. The MTP proposes the use of Oklahoma's own prairie wind to power the sleek new version.

click photos to enlarge

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