Plans for Orange County’s first modern streetcar moved forward last week when the Federal Transit Administration issued a letter announcing its support for the project to officially enter the engineering phase.
The letter signals the federal government’s continued support of the project and that OCTA remains on track in meeting the extensive requirements of the FTA’s New Starts program.
The FTA’s current review of the OC Streetcar project focused on ridership projections and benefits to the community, as well as OCTA’s financial commitment to the streetcar project and the agency’s ability to build and operate it.
The engineering phase is the final stage before OCTA seeks a full funding grant agreement from the FTA, which could fund up to half of the $298-million OC Streetcar that will run through the heart of the county, serving Santa Ana and Garden Grove.
Construction on the OC Streetcar is set to begin in 2018 with the start of testing and operations planned for 2020.
“Orange County is ready and eager to get its first streetcar and this is significant progress,” said OCTA Chair Michael Hennessey. “When the streetcar is up and running, it will help provide better options for people to get out of their cars and use public transportation, whether it’s to get to work, to school or to a business meeting.”
For information on the project, visit here.