Six Months on the Rails: OKC Streetcar by the Numbers
In December of 2018, the Oklahoma City Streetcar took its inaugural ride, ushering in a new era of mobility in the urban core. Since that time, the vibrantly colored streetcars have become permanent fixtures downtown, along with their 22 platform stops and a community of public transit users who’ve rallied behind the streetcar, many utilizing transit services for the first time.
The launch of this new service has created a more accessible downtown OKC, for residents and visitors alike, and has been warmly welcomed into the neighborhood. 20,528 rides were recorded in the first month of paid service; that number grew to more than 29,600 in April and more than 48,000 in June. The streetcar’s single busiest day to date took place on Friday, June 21, with 4,690 total rides. In a city with no plans of slowing down, the streetcar is keeping pace.
With single rides costing $1 and a one-day pass priced at just $3, it’s an efficient and inexpensive way to get to downtown shops, restaurants, entertainment destinations and more. The urban core where the streetcar operates has evolved and continues to do so. An investment impact study conducted by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce found that since 2011, the year the streetcar route was announced, the area within the three-block “impact zone” of the streetcar system has seen tremendous gains, including (click here for the full study):
- $1.6 billion in total public and private investment
- Approximately 5,700 jobs (16 percent increase from 2011-2015)
- 1.54 million square feet net increase of office space
- 21 residential developments with 1,860 new housing units
- Seven new hotels with 833 hotel rooms.
OKC Streetcar officials constantly examine ways to improve service to existing riders and encourage new riders. Permanent service on Sundays launched this spring, and rides are free on the third Friday of the month through September. Recently, more traffic signal overrides were put in place, giving the streetcar priority to pass through intersections before vehicles. The improvement decreases travel time and wait times at platforms for riders.
As they say, the only constant is change. While the streetcar is a new constant in Oklahoma City, riders can anticipate future changes within the areas the streetcar serves with new businesses popping up, and continued improvements to the service itself.