OKC VeloCity | Stories needed from people who remember original streetcars

Stories needed from people who remember original streetcars

By Staff Reports / Inside OKC / September 25, 2018

Did you ride one of the original Oklahoma City streetcars? The City of OKC wants to hear your story.

MAPS 3 Oklahoma City Streetcar service is expected to begin in the next few months. But it’s not the first time streetcars have been on our roads. For decades in the first half of the 20th century, Oklahoma City had several streetcar lines – some of them built, owned and operated by private developers.

If you or someone you know remembers riding on them, working on them or seeing them operate in Oklahoma City, visit okc.gov/StreetcarStories and tell us about it. Please include a photo if you have one. There’s a release form to read and agree to that will allow us to use it in promotional or educational material, with your permission.

Hearing these stories will help the City preserve our shared history and incorporate it into the new memories people will make as the first new streetcar service in generations begins.

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

Track safety tips and videos for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians can be found on EMBARK’s website, and on EMBARK’s FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube feeds.

About the OKC Streetcar system

The streetcar will have two route options: the 2-mile Bricktown Loop and 4.8-mile Downtown Loop. Click here for a map.

The OKC Streetcar will serve 22 stops with five streetcars, which ride on rails flush with the street. The streetcars use overhead wires for electric power on part of the route, and batteries for the rest.

Each streetcar can carry 104 passengers, and each stop will be served every 12-15 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 is served 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 is expected to be operational on Sundays when there are large special events along the route to generate trips.

A safety campaign is under way to educate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists how to safely interact with the streetcar once rail service begins. The campaign will continue when streetcar operations begin.

Each OKC Streetcar stop is ADA-accessible for easy, level boarding with signage, real-time arrival information, covered shelters and a ticket vending machine. EMBARK will launch a mobile ticketing app later this year.

The project budget is $131 million and includes the storage and maintenance facility, completed last year.

Herzog-Stacey and Witbeck is building 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.

Stay updated on how construction will affect traffic on City streets as the project progresses by signing up for email alerts or visiting the streetcar construction update page on the MAPS 3 website.

About MAPS 3

MAPS 3 is a $777 million, debt-free capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It is funded by a 1-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ended in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention CenterDowntown Public ParkModern Streetcar/TransitOklahoma River ImprovementsOklahoma State Fairgrounds ImprovementsSenior Health and Wellness CentersTrails and Sidewalks.

Read the original release at okc.gov.

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