Oklahoma City Streetcar

The Oklahoma City Streetcar (OKC Streetcar), also known as the MAPS 3 streetcar, is a streetcar system in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, that opened in 2018 and is operated by Embark. The 4.8-mile (7.7 km) system serves the greater downtown Oklahoma City area using modern, low-floor streetcars,[1] the first of which was delivered in February 2018.[8] The initial system has two lines that connect Oklahoma City's Central Business District with the entertainment district, Bricktown, and the Midtown District.[9] Expansion to other districts surrounding downtown as well as more routes in the CBD is planned.

Oklahoma City Streetcar
Oklahoma City Streetcar - green car on 4th Street passing First United Methodist Church.jpg
A streetcar on 4th Street near Robinson Avenue in 2021
Other name(s)OKC Downtown Streetcar
OwnerOklahoma City
LocaleOklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Stations22 stops
Operator(s)Herzog Transit Services
Depot(s)Santa Fe Transit Hub
Rolling stock7 Brookville Liberty Modern Streetcars[1]
Daily ridership3,943 [2]
OpenedDecember 14, 2018 (2018-12-14)[3]
Line length4.8 mi (7.7 km)[4][5]
Track length5.6 mi (9.0 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification740 V DC overhead wire;[6] lithium-ion battery
Operating speed30 mph (48 km/h)
Route Diagram

Dewey Avenue
North Hudson
NW 10th Street
Art Park
Law School
Automobile Alley
Memorial Museum
Broadway Avenue
Federal Courthouse
Transit Center
Business District
Myriad Gardens
Scissortail Park
Century Center
Santa Fe Hub
Mickey Mantle
East Bricktown
The fleet consists of seven Brookville Liberty streetcars, in three color schemes – here the "Clear Sky blue".[7]


The streetcar was first conceived in a 2005 regional transit study known as the Fixed Guideway Study. The concept lay dormant until local Oklahoma City businessman, inventor, and political activist Jeff Bezdek promoted the project to the Oklahoma City Council to be considered as part of Metropolitan Area Projects Plan 3 (MAPS 3) program.[10] Bezdek launched a strategic campaign called the Modern Transit Project to generate public support for the initiative.[11] Polling indicated that the streetcar plan had a majority of support from likely voters.[12] The Oklahoma City Council incorporated the concept into the MAPS program.

The system is financed through MAPS 3, a sales tax-financed public works program. The initiative was approved in 2009 via a majority vote by the citizens of Oklahoma City.[13]

On September 29, 2015, the Oklahoma City city council approved the awarding of a $22 million contract to Inekon, of the Czech Republic, for the purchase of five streetcars,[14] as well as spare parts and training.[15] However, after Inekon failed to meet a one-month deadline for submitting required financial-guarantee information, project staff recommended switching to Brookville Equipment Corporation, another manufacturer that had also bid for the order.[16] On November 10, the city council voted its approval for the staff to begin negotiations with Brookville for the streetcar contract.[16] In March 2016, the city reached a final agreement with Brookville to purchase five streetcars, with an option for a sixth, at a cost of $24.9 million.[17] The low-floor design is Brookville's "Liberty" model.[18] In May 2016, the city council approved adding a sixth car to the order,[19] and in February 2017 approved expanding the order to seven cars.[20]

In December 2016, the city council awarded a $50 million contract for rail installation to builders Herzog and Stacy and Witbeck, with construction planned to begin in early 2017 and continue for about two years.[21] The formal groundbreaking for the project took place on February 7, 2017.[1] The project was expected to cost a total of $131.8 million in 2017,[1] but this had increased to $136 million by 2018.[22]

The first streetcar arrived on February 12, 2018 (and was unloaded onto the rails the following day),[23] and by March 12, three of the seven on order had arrived.[24] Three different color schemes are used, with three cars in a "redbud" color, two in blue and two in green,[24] along with white for a portion of each car. By the end of September 2018, six of the seven cars had been received.[22]


Service commenced on the morning of December 14, 2018, followed by three days of city-funded celebrations.[3][4] At a reported total installation price of $136 million,[25] the cost was $29.6 million per mile (including purchase of the vehicles).

Service was free until February 1 (extended beyond an original plan for three weeks of free service, through January 4), to promote the new service. Embark began charging fares on February 2, 2019,[26] the base fare being $1, with discounts for senior and disabled riders and with 24-hour and multi-day passes available.[5]

At the time of the line's opening, it was tentatively planned that the line would not have regular Sunday service, and would operate only on Sundays when events were scheduled. However, Sunday service was scheduled for the system's first seven weeks, through late January, and Embark planned to monitor Sunday ridership during that time, to determine whether Sunday service should be made a permanent part of the schedule.[27] In late January, Embark announced that Sunday ridership had been better than expected,[28] and that consequently, Sunday service would resume on February 10[26] (after a one-weekend suspension) and be made a permanent part of the weekly schedule. Sunday service is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the end of March and then expand to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting April 7.[28]


The streetcar system is one of the conventional type using steel rails embedded into city streets, with modern vehicles powered from overhead electric wires. The streetcars are planned to be in use with everyday traffic. Initially, five vehicles were slated to be ordered. A sixth car was slated to be purchased through MAPS 3 with options for six more vehicles beyond the initial purchase. The streetcar vehicles are required to operate wirelessly for several hundred feet under the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway bridges that separate downtown Oklahoma City central business district from the Bricktown entertainment district.[29]


A streetcar in the "redbud" (magenta and pink) paint scheme on NW 11th Street in Midtown, on the northernmost part of the Downtown Loop route

The streetcar is operated by Embark through a contract with Herzog Transit Services provide day-to-day operations and maintenance.[4] The system has two routes, with the 4.8-mile (7.7 km) Downtown Loop covering the full line and the shorter Bricktown Loop covering a 2-mile (3.2 km) portion of the line, in the Bricktown district.[5]


Service is provided seven days a week on the Downtown Loop, while the Bricktown Loop operates only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.[30] Streetcars operate on a headway of 15–18 minutes.[5]


The fare is $1, or $0.50 for seniors at least 65, children ages 7–17, or disabled or Medicare via Embark ID card, and all riders need a ticket. 30-, 7-, and 1-day passes are available via ticket vending machines at stops. Children under 7 are free with a fare-paying rider; limit three.

Operational LossEdit

The OKC streetcar has an average monthly ridership of about 35,000 people, generating about $60,000 of revenue per month. The total monthly budgeted operational expense is $429,000,[31] which results in a loss of approximately $369,000 each month the system is in operation.


Month Passenger trips
Dec. 2018 73,520[32]
Jan. 2019 48,783[33]
Feb. 2019 20,522[34]
Mar. 2019 33,232[34]
Apr. 2019 29,660[34]
May 2019 22,582[32]
June 2019 48,088[35]
July 2019 33,113[36]
Aug. 2019 26,480[36]
Sep. 2019 30,186[37]
Oct. 2019 28,832[38]
Nov. 2019 28,559[39]
Dec. 2019 46,185[39]
Jan. 2020 23,846[39]
Feb. 2020 22,211[39]

List of streetcar stopsEdit

The Century Center stop, on Sheridan Avenue, which is along a section without overhead trolley wire

  Downtown Loop
  Bricktown Loop

Loop between Bricktown and Midtown

No. Station Intersection Line Notes
1 East Bricktown Joe Carter and Flaming Lips Alley    
2 Ballpark Johnny Bench and Mickey Mantle Drives    
3 Santa Fe Hub Reno and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard    
4 Arena Reno and Robinson    
5 Scissortail Park Oklahoma City Boulevard and Robinson    
6 Myriad Gardens Hudson and Sheridan    
7 Library Hudson and Park  
8 Transit Center Hudson and NW 4th  
9 Federal Courthouse NW 4th and Robinson  
10 Broadway Avenue Broadway and NW 4th  
11 Automobile Alley Broadway and NW 8th  
12 Art Park Broadway and NW 11th  
13 North Hudson NW 11th and Hudson  
14 Dewey Avenue Dewey and NW 10th  
15 Midtown NW 10th and Hudson  
16 NW 10th Street NW 10th and Robinson  
17 Law School Robinson and NW 7th  
18 Memorial Museum Robinson and NW 4th  
19 Business District Robinson and Park  
20 Century Center Sheridan and Robinson    
21 Bricktown Sheridan and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard    
22 Mickey Mantle Sheridan and Mickey Mantle Drive    

Planned expansionEdit

Major expansion of the Oklahoma City Streetcar system beyond the first phase is already being planned. A steering committee made up of local mayors, city councillors, and other civic leaders approved plans for major expansion from the MAPS 3 system northward up the major thoroughfare Classen Boulevard to the planned 63rd Street commuter rail station stop and southward from downtown along Walker Avenue to the Southwest 25th Street (future) commuter-rail stop in Capitol Hill. Additional plans have also been discussed for streetcar expansion to Oklahoma City University through the historic Plaza District northwest of the initial starter line.[40]

Project oversightEdit

The Oklahoma City Streetcar project as part of the MAPS initiative is overseen by a committee appointed by the mayor and city council of Oklahoma City. The original promoter of the streetcar system, Jeff Bezdek, is appointed to committee along with several other volunteers from the original Modern Transit Project initiative.[41] Recommendations from this committee are formally made to the MAPS 3 oversight board which then makes recommendations to the Oklahoma City Council to be potentially enacted as policy.[42]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Crum, William (February 8, 2017). "Streetcar work begins in Bricktown". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  2. ^ Crum, William (May 13, 2019). "Oklahoma City Streetcar ridership improving this spring". The Oklahoman. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Crum, William (December 15, 2018) [online date December 14]. "Streetcar's start draws crowds". The Oklahoman. p. 1A. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "OKC Streetcar service begins" (Press release). City of Oklahoma City. December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d KFOR-TV; Querry, K. (January 29, 2019). "Streetcar service expanding to Sundays in Oklahoma City". KFOR-TV. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Franklin, Dallas (June 14, 2018). "Streetcar vehicles to begin testing along Bricktown Loop". KFOR. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Oklahoma City Streetcar: Frequently Asked Questions". Embark. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  8. ^ "First Oklahoma City Streetcar delivered". Metro. February 14, 2018. ISSN 1098-0083. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Modern Streetcar/Transit". City of Oklahoma City. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Lackmeyer, Steve (July 14, 2009). "Streetcar plan may open downtown transit route". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Fenwick, Ben (November 5, 2009). "Officials: Downtown rail initiative in MAPS 3 can serve as future framework". Oklahoma Gazette. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Shapard Research (September 2009). "MAPS 3 Survey, September 13–15, 2009" (PDF). Oklahoma Gazette, News 9. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  13. ^ John Estus and Brian Dean (December 9, 2009). "Oklahoma City Voters Say Yes to MAPS 3 Proposal". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Inekon to supply Oklahoma City Streetcars". Railway Gazette International. September 30, 2015. Archived from the original on December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Fultonberg, Lorne (September 30, 2015). "Oklahoma City council approves $23 million streetcar contract". KFOR-TV. Archived from the original on October 4, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Crum, William (November 10, 2015). "Oklahoma City Council votes to change MAPS 3 streetcar manufacturers". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  17. ^ "Oklahoma City OKs $24.9 million contract to buy five streetcars from Brookville". Progressive Railroading. March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Barrow, Keith (March 23, 2016). "Oklahoma City orders Brookville LRVs". International Railway Journal. UK. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "OKC Council Meeting Notes: May 17, 2016". City of Oklahoma City. May 17, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "OKC Council Meeting Notes: Feb. 28, 2017". City of Oklahoma City. February 28, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "Oklahoma City council moves forward with streetcar plans". Trains magazine. November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Crum, William (October 1, 2018). "OK: Weekend-Long Celebration to Mark Oklahoma City Streetcar Debut". McClatchy. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018 – via Mass Transit magazine.
  23. ^ Crum, William (February 12, 2018). "Oklahoma City's first streetcar is rolled - slowly - off a flatbed truck". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Crum, William (March 12, 2018). "Deliveries, testing continue at Oklahoma City streetcar maintenance facility". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  25. ^ The Oklahoman Editorial Board (December 14, 2018). "Climb aboard! OKC streetcars open for business". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "OKC Streetcar fares begin February 2; Streetcar to permanently operate seven days a week". Embark. January 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  27. ^ Crum, William (December 14, 2018). "Hitting the rails: Oklahoma City set to inaugurate streetcar service". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  28. ^ a b "OKC Streetcar Fares Take Effect Saturday". KWGS. Associated Press. February 1, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  29. ^ Felder, Ben (July 8, 2014). "Streetcar still on track". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  30. ^ "OKC Streetcar Service Schedule". Embark. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  31. ^ Fox 25 News: Oklahoma City Streetcars: Are they making money?
  32. ^ a b https://embarkok.com/assets/files/meeting_documents/packets/2019/2019%2006%2007%20Packet.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  33. ^ "OKC streetcar ridership on the rebound | the Journal Record". April 16, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c "Oklahoma City Streetcar ridership improving this spring".
  35. ^ "OKC Civic Life for Monday, July 15, 2019".
  36. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ https://agenda.okc.gov/sirepub/cache/2/24zs4putsxeflru1yf0zxo55/455193010212019085507735.PDF[dead link]
  38. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ a b c d https://embarkok.com/assets/files/meeting_documents/packets/2020/2020%2003%2006%20Packet.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  40. ^ Felder, Ben (August 18, 2014). "Regional rail-based transit system plan could reach voters in a few years". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  41. ^ Koon / Creative Vega, Patrick W. Moore. "Welcome - Modern Transit Project in Oklahoma City". mtpokc.com.
  42. ^ "MAPS3 Citizens Advisory Board". Oklahoma City. Retrieved February 16, 2017.

External linksEdit