With all the talk about Miami’s streetcar here, one would never have guessed that Fort Lauderdale is also planning one. The Sun-Sentinel today featured a detailed write-up and even a demonstration video on the project. They used the term “light rail” and “streetcar” interchangeably in the article, but the proposed system, called “The Wave”, sounds more like a streetcar. The Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority’s website includes some basic information on this project that has eluded the radar screen for seven years. This PDF flyer offers more detailed info, including maps of the proposed route alternatives that run from NE 6th St. to SE 17th St. The cost is expected to be $150 million for a 2.7 mile project.

Tuesday at noon, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the city commission will meet in City Hall to discuss funding. The Sun-Sentinel seems to be the only source of information on this meeting. If I didn’t have to work I would be there.

Perhaps it’s worth noting that there is at least one representative from a car dealership on the DDA Board, Gale Butler from AutoNation. Since the DDA is responsible for this project, it looks like the auto dealerships are more inclined to see this project happen than Miami’s streetcar. Let’s do The Wave!

10 Responses to Wave Hello To the Fort Lauderdale Streetcar

  1. Pantograph Trolleypole says:

    They are getting hosed. $55 M for 2.7 miles without reserved guideway is insane! I’m all about streetcars, but these cities need to stop getting raw deals from consultants.

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  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    I’m not familiar with this proposal-yet, but I would imagine this price includes the acquisition of land for a storage/maintenance facility, none of which exist nearby and constituting what i would imagine a major portion of this figure…

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds nice, I hope we get it! Although it does seem very expensive…

       0 likes

  4. Pantograph Trolleypole says:

    Here is some more info. Looks like there might be a pedestrian mall which would cost a lot if they redo the whole thing and charge it to the streetcar.

    http://www.ddaftl.org/dtc.asp

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good but 2.7 miles is a short distance.

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  6. Kordor says:

    South Florida needs to start somewhere, so even a short distance would be great. Even greater would be if Ft. Lauderdale builds a streetcar before Miami and/or the Beach. Who would look stone age then?!

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  7. Steven says:

    “Even greater would be if Ft. Lauderdale builds a streetcar before Miami and/or the Beach. Who would look stone age then?!”

    Ft. Lauderdale would still look in the stone age although not as much as they used to. Currently in Miami there is an automated people mover system and while grossly inadequate, a county train system that hooks up to a regional train. The streetcar in Miami would be another transit alternative whereas in Ft. Lauderdale, where only busses and water taxi work today, it would be their first new transit alternative.

    Additionally, the alignments are all dependant on the Florida East Coast Railroad corridor for hooking into other transit. If this were Tri-Rail, that would be great! since it is currently no though, it seems to be somewhat lacking in its connectivity to the exsisting transit system (unless that orange dotted line is the light rail they are considering, but that still makes my case in that it does not connect to exsisting regional transit).

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  8. Sonny says:

    Fort Lauderdale is the ideal city for a starter streetcar system. However, I think the designers of the streetcar system are a bit short sighted in their planning. If the southern leg is going as far south as SE 17th Street, then why not take it all the way to the Intl. Airport terminal now rather than later.

    Additionally, instead of building the streetcar system north to 6th St., it would make better sense to build the tracks westward on Broward Blvd. to the Tri-Rail station.

    The volume of passenger traffic to and from the airport and commuter rail station will contribute substantially to the success of the streetcar, therefore making the additional investment in the start up rail system very worthwhile.

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  9. Hugh Kirkpatrick says:

    One only has to look at the BART system in San Fransisco to see what a successful mass transit system can and should be. Relieving the congestion of the I-595 corridor should be the first order of business for any proposed rail system here, and the airport must be included as a station.

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  10. AS A CONCERNED CITIZEN REGARDING MASS TRANSIT , I SAY ANY TYPE OF RAIL IN DOWNTOWN AND THE AIRPORT AREA SHOULD BE ELEVATED ON TRACKS SUCH AS MIAMI HAS FOR ITS METRORAIL SYSTEM. IT DOES NOT BACK UP TRAFFIC AND IS A VERY POPULAR AND SUCCESSFUL MODE OF TRANSPORTATION.

       1 likes

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