Fort Lauderdale — Expansion Considered
Fort Lauderdale has federal funds to build "The Wave," a starter urban circulator modern streetcar line in the downtown area. But now transit planners are proposing an expansion of the starter rail line and a connecting bus rapid transit [BRT] line, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
Planners have decided to run streetcars in an arc from the Broward Boulevard Tri-Rail Station east along Broward Boulevard, through downtown to the airport, then west along Griffin Road to the Dania Beach Tri-Rail Station and the education complex in Davie.
West of University Drive, plans call for express buses along Interstate 595 to Sawgrass Mills.
An east-west line is needed because the $1.2 billion widening of I-595 won't be enough to meet the county's growing traffic needs in 20 years. The line could grow to a countywide network of streetcars and express bus services.
The proposed $467 million transit system would expand on a 2.7-mile streetcar loop planned in downtown Fort Lauderdale that could begin construction in 2014, with service following a year later.
The east-west route would get riders from Sawgrass to downtown in 52 minutes. It would take only 18 minutes to get to the education complex in Davie and 37 minutes to get to the airport.
Early estimates say the service would carry about 3.4 million riders a year. Tri-Rail, by comparison, carried 3.9 million passengers in 2011.
The decision over which route and type of service should be offered has been debated for much of the past decade. At one time, plans called for a $1 billion light rail system. That was scrapped several years because of costs and opposition.
For more information refer to the project's web site: http://wavestreetcar.com/