OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Streetcar is officially open for riders.
It’s an idea that first started 25 years ago…
“… which actually included a streetcar. It just didn’t happen, and this is really the only project in MAPS that’s been voted on twice,” said Mayor of Oklahoma City David Holt.
That was when Ron Norick was mayor. On Friday, he was one of more than 100 people who attended the official grand opening ceremony.
“When it’s cold like this, you’re not going to walk somewhere, but you’ll get on that because it’s warmer, you’ll get on quicker and you don’t have to drive around looking for parking.”
There are two routes, with the Bricktown loop running on Friday and Saturday.
The downtown loop will have 22 stops, and each car will be able to hold 104 passengers – making this opening day a test for its capacity.
“The people, when they came and speak to each other, it’s friendly,” said Nuha Adam about the other passengers on the streetcar.
“I never ever thought it was so pretty here. I’m originally from Los Angeles and, so, just coming here and seeing this, it’s just you’re kind of proud of Oklahoma,” said Karla Wilson, one of the first riders.
Sue Murphy has fond memories of riding the original streetcars that shut down in the 40s. Her uncle drove the original trolley and would let her ride alongside when she was just 5.
“And, the fun part was, at the end of the day of riding the streetcar, he picked me up and picked me up high and let me ring the streetcar bell,” Murphy said. “And, when I heard the streetcar’s back, I thought, oh, I’m 5 again.”
Lots of memories of the past and hope for the future of Oklahoma City.
“Dream big, be persistent and I think you’ll find that we can build things for our future that are very exciting and can exceed our imagination, and that’s what we have today,” Holt said.
Rides are free until January 5. After that, it’s $1 per ride with daily, monthly and yearly passes available.
For more information, visit okcstreetcar.com.