OC Streetcar Rolls On as OCTA Seeks Federal Grant Agreement

At its meeting on May 15, the OCTA Board of Directors voted to seek a grant agreement that would cover nearly half of the overall cost to build the OC Streetcar.  

OCTA, the lead agency planning to build the OC Streetcar in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, will apply for a full funding grant agreement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for $148.9 million.

The FTA’s full funding grant agreement is the contract between the federal government and OCTA that solidifies funding commitments and defines roles and responsibilities.

Overall, the OC Streetcar project is expected to cost approximately $299.3 million, with other funding coming from state cap-and-trade programs, additional federal funding and locally from Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

OCTA has been working closely with the FTA to meet strict eligibility requirements for funding and has received several approvals signaling strong support at the federal level.

In January, the FTA reviewed the project’s ridership projections, financial commitments and benefits to the community and granted permission for the project to enter into the engineering phase, the last phase before construction. Earlier this month, Congressional leaders identified the OC Streetcar as a project worthy of funding by allocating $50 million for the current fiscal year.

The OC Streetcar will operate on a 4.1-mile route from the busy Santa Ana train station, along Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street and along the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.

The route will serve Santa Ana’s thriving downtown and important job centers that include county and local government offices and courthouses in the Civic Center and will connect with 18 of OCTA’s busiest bus routes and Metrolink commuter rail. Construction is set to begin in late 2018 with the start of testing and operations planned for 2020.

For information on the project, visit here.

 

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