By Steve Lackmeyer
After years of debate and study, Oklahoma City is set to move forward on a streetcar system. The map is finalized, and orders are in for steel for the rails and for six modern streetcars.
And if all goes as planned, passenger service will begin by late 2018. Two routes traveling 6.9 miles will link Bricktown, Automobile Alley, Midtown, the Central Business District and the area known as Core to Shore.
This is a story that started 25 years ago, and its potential for future development in the urban core cannot be overstated.
Streetcars have been visualized as part of MAPS since the very first initiative was passed in 1993. That ballot provided $5 million for a 2.7-mile passenger rail system downtown that assumed easy congressional approval of $13 million of federal funding.