Wave Streetcar: A History of the project years in the making

Courtesy of Wave Streetcar
Courtesy of Wave Streetcar

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Wave Streetcar project first came about in 2004, when city, state and Broward County leaders and transportation officials discussed the need for a mass transit system in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The Wave Streetcar project is a proposed plan to build 14 station platforms along the 2.8-mile route. The streetcars would be powered by overhead electric lines, operating on embedded tracks in mixed traffic and sharing the lanes with other vehicles.

Broward County Transit would be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Wave Streetcar once it has been constructed and completed testing.

File: Wave Streetcar Project Route

The route would span the New River to connect the hospital and courthouse districts on the south side with the downtown business core and government, education, shopping, recreation and entertainment centers on the north side. The original route was expanded in October 2015 to include a loop on the north end of Flagler Village to capture recent and future residential and retail development in the area.

It is estimated to cost $195 million, which is an increase from the original estimate of $142 million. An estimated $144 million includes construction costs of the infrastructure and purchase of streetcars and spare parts. The remaining estimated $51 million includes costs for the planning and development stage.

The estimated cost ballooned with the addition of the loop to the north end of Flagler Village.

In November 2017, the Florida Department of Transportation rejected all bids for the Wave Streetcar because the price proposals exceeded the program funds.