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Oklahoma City has historically been underserved, and has underused, public transportation. The exciting modern transit streetcar solution in the new MAPS proposal will be world-class and the most extensive of its type in the United States today. It will help to more sustainably connect workers to their jobs, residents to events / recreation, and visitors to our attractions. The streetcar system will help attract the young, vibrant workforce our economy needs to grow and thrive, and will promote a healthier lifestyle. In addition, the streetcars will give us the first element of what could be a more extensive system. The Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority's Fixed Guideway Study has given us a blueprint for expansion and growth of the system, and this proposal establishes a hub to support multiple types of transportation, improving Oklahoma City's entire transit system now and in the future.
In addition to energy, traffic density, sustainability and image benefits, other cities (Little Rock, Tampa and Portland, among others) report significant economic development as a result of these systems being put into place. The vehicles will be easily accessible, and the system will not be reliant on any Federal or state money to operate (although the City is seeking matching dollars that could expand the project should the proposal pass).
Cost: $130 million
Description: The transit package includes approximately five to six miles of downtown streetcar. The streetcar will be on rails in City streets and link major employers, businesses, attractions and residential communities in the downtown area. The transit package can also include funding for other commuter rail transit lines that may become feasible in the near term, along with an intermodal transit hub in downtown.
Streetcar, commuter rail and a hub are all called for in the Fixed Guideway Study, which provides a blueprint for transit needs in central Oklahoma over the coming decades.
A streetcar is a critical first step towards a better transit system.
A better transit system will lead to a healthier, more sustainable community.