Federal Funds added to Measure M Funds for OC Streetcar

OC Streetcar OCTA rendering

Plans to build Orange County’s first modern streetcar took another step forward with the announcement that the project will receive $50 million from the federal government.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is developing the project, which is expected to cost about $289 million overall. Federal funding could pay for approximately half of the overall cost. Other funding is coming from various state and local sources, including Measure M—Orange County’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is developing the project, which is expected to cost about $289 million overall. Federal funding could pay for approximately half of the overall cost. Other funding is coming from various state and local sources, including Measure M—Orange County’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. The streetcar project was first pioneered through a Measure M2 program, named Transit Extensions to Metrolink, that provides funding to connect people between a Metrolink station and activity and employment centers throughout the county.

OCTA officials consider the streetcar’s inclusion in the Congressional funding package, expected to be signed by the President, a strong indicator of federal support for the streetcar project, which will run through the heart of Orange County in Santa Ana and Garden Grove.

“We’re thrilled to see the federal government continue to join us at the local level in recognizing what a strong transportation project this is,” said OCTA Director Miguel Pulido, also the Mayor of Santa Ana. “We’ve earned support from our local residents and businesses and we’re happy to partner with the federal government to get the OC Streetcar up and running. This project returns our federal tax dollars to Orange County, leading to additional jobs and increased economic development.”

“The OC Streetcar will provide Orange County residents with another important transportation option, connecting to Metrolink commuter rail and our bus system to help move thousands of people more efficiently to their jobs and schools, to business meetings, to shopping, entertainment and dining,” said OCTA Director Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove. “This is another major step forward.”

The OC Streetcar, now in the design and engineering phase, will run through the heart of Orange County in Santa Ana and Garden Grove. Construction is slated to begin in 2018 with service beginning in 2020.

Source: Mass Transit Magazine

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