Streetcar system will waste taxpayer money

Published: June 5, 2013

Nathaniel Harding's response (Your Views, May 27) to Jordan Brandenburg (Your Views, May 22) claims that streetcars are well suited for downtown because they hold two to three times more people than buses and run roughly twice as often, thereby making them more affordable per passenger. This claim contradicts the findings published in the Intermodal Transportation Hub Master Plan for Central Oklahoma dated June 30, 2011, which was prepared for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG). The transit mode characteristics of streetcars are inferior to those of bus rapid transit (BRT) in nearly every way.

The BRT has a passenger capacity of 30 to 40 people per vehicle, while the streetcar carries only 15 to 30. The streetcar system is projected to cost $5 million to $10 million more per vehicle mile than the BRT, not to mention the streetcar's construction cost of roughly $130 million. According to ACOG's own plan, a streetcar can do nothing that a bus can't do as well or better.

The streetcar system is a waste of taxpayer money and should be scrapped.

Matt Fleischer, Edmond