Test Ride: What will OKC’s streetcar look like in action?

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DALLAS — To see it’s future downtown, Oklahoma City may have to look through the eyes of Texas.

Running along the rails below and the cables overhead in Dallas is a streetcar, which the city sees as the first stop on its route to an interconnected future.

“The timing just seemed right to make an investment in streetcars,” said Mark Rauscher, the Dallas Interagency Transportation Administrator. “We feel like there is going to be a lot more excitement as far as generating tourism and redevelopment and also people commuting via streetcar.”

The streetcar route in Dallas only opened about a year ago and right now the track only spans a mile. Construction on phase two should start this summer, as the city works to connect Union Station to the burgeoning Bishop Arts District.

But even in its early stages, the similarities are apparent to Oklahoma City officials, who plan to put their own “modern streetcar” downtown.

Construction begins this year, with the line set to open in 2018.

Part of MAPS 3, the modern streetcar was one of the city’s tougher sells, as it works to outfit downtown with a new park and convention center.

Tonight at 6, NewsChannel 4’s Lorne Fultonberg takes a ride on the Dallas Streetcar to get a look at what’s working, what needs improvement, and what Oklahoma City can expect for its tax dollars.

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