Historic Day: OKC Streetcar Opens

The source for the following story is the City of Oklahoma City Public Information Office. // Photos by ACOG Staff

The OKC Streetcar is here.

Mayor David Holt, Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer, Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice and other Oklahoma City leaders officially cut the ribbon Friday on the MAPS 3 OKC Streetcar, bringing public transit on rails back to our streets for the first time in generations.

“This is a historic day decades in the making,” said Mayor Holt. “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. 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 possibilities are endless and exciting. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, especially the taxpayers who went to the polls and voted yes on MAPS 3, in faith that this monumental day would arrive.”

“This is a historic day decades in the making,” –Mayor David Holt

Festivities during the OKC Streetcar’s grand opening weekend includes live entertainment, special promotions and family activities.

Free Rides Through January 5

Streetcar rides will be free through January 5, as part of the ongoing celebration of the first streetcar service in Oklahoma City in generations.

After January 5, fares will be $1 for a single ride, $3 for a 24-hour pass, $32 for a 30-day pass and $384 for an annual pass. Daily, 7-day and 30-day EMBARK bus passes also include streetcar service. Find a route map, platform locations and more at okcstreetcar.com.

About the OKC Streetcar system

The OKC Streetcar has two route options: the 4.8-mile Downtown Loop and 2-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.

Safety Tips

Safety tips and videos for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians on how to safely interact with the streetcar can be found on EMBARK’s website, and on EMBARK’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube feeds.

Be aware of the streetcar when parking on the street along the route. Park close to the curb and inside the white line to stay clear of the streetcar’s path and avoid being towed.

The streetcars use overhead wires for electric power on part of the route, and batteries for the rest. Never touch the overhead wire, which is high-voltage and dangerous.

Each streetcar can carry 104 passengers, and each stop will be served every 15-18 minutes.

The Downtown Loop will begin service at 6 a.m. Monday to Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday. Service ends at midnight Monday to Thursday, extending to 2 a.m. on Friday night (Saturday morning) and Saturday night (Sunday morning).

The Bricktown Loop will run 7 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, and will be activated for other special events.

The streetcar system will be operational on Sundays when there are large special events along the route to generate trips. Sunday service is already scheduled every Sunday through the end of January for the grand opening and Thunder games.

Each OKC Streetcar stop is ADA-accessible for easy, level boarding with signage, real-time arrival information, covered shelters and a ticket vending machine. You can also use EMBARK’s mobile ticketing app, and other EMBARK-supported apps for trip planning and real-time system information.

EMBARK will operate the OKC Streetcar as part of the City’s public transit system.

The project budget is $135 million and includes the storage and maintenance facility, completed last year.

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.

ACOG Executive Director Mark W. Sweeney, AICP, Jennifer Sebesta, Transportation Program Coordinator, and John M. Sharp, Deputy Director, celebrate the opening of the #OKC Streetcar!

“…The kaleidoscope of ideas Twain describes aptly represents years of work from the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Embark, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, the City Council, MAPS 3 staff and committees and the voters of Oklahoma City who have prioritized public transit. The significant work included a fixed guideway study, multiple opportunities for public input and many conversations about routes…

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