The Wave Streetcar
Downtown Fort Lauderdale's Planned Streetcar System
The Wave is environmentally sound in many ways. The streetcar is powered by electricity, which when compared to gasoline, significantly reduces emissions and harmful air pollutants. It also provides a quiet ride, unlike the bus that operates on a noisy combustion engine. Additionally, the streetcar glides on steel wheels while the bus uses rubber tires that are not environmentally sound and is difficult to dispose of. Finally, the stations will be solar powered!
The Sun Trolley will be redeployed to serve the surrounding neighborhoods and will make connections to the Wave and our regional transit network.
The goals and objectives for the project include not only mobility, but also land use, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
Fixed rail streetcar systems promote an economic development benefit that rubber-wheel vehicles do not. By knowing that a route will remain the same forever, it allows investment to occur. Streetcars are more convenient, more reliable, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly than rubber wheel operations.
Fares will be a decision of BCT, as they will be the owner/operators of the Wave, but would anticipate them to be competitive with BCT bus fares. There are options being explored to reduce the fare. These decisions will be finalized in the next phase.
In addition, we anticipate having the system integrate into the universal pass system for the County.
The Wave will function just like a vehicle does. It will abide by traffic signals and the rules of the road. Vehicular traffic and the streetcar will share the same lane of traffic.
The Wave will run at peak hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening. It is anticipated that initial ridership counts will help to determine necessary hours beyond those peak times.
A person should expect to wait no longer than 7.5 minutes at any given stop during peak times and 10 minutes during off peak hours. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) will be part of the system that will display route information and real time traffic information at the stops, which will display on an electronic screen when the next vehicle will arrive.
A large part of the projected ridership will initially come from the BCT regional terminal, the Judicial complex, and the Hospital District. The Wave will also move people in and around downtown that live, work, and play here and connect them to the existing regional system and the proposed Sun Trolley neighborhood connectors.
FDOT will be purchasing a brand new fleet of hybrid, articulated buses (that have WI-FI!) as part of their 595 Express Project. The route will primarily be an East-west route and will provide this critical link from the Tri-Rail station on Broward Blvd to the existing downtown transit terminal. They will be launching the program in Fall 2010!
Through advertising and sponsorship revenues, additional formula money BCT will be eligible for from the federal government, fare box recovery collection, and the reinvestment of downtown generated tax revenues, the Wave is anticipated to be a self-sustaining operation and should not impact other routes.