A Desired Streetcar named The Wave
The idea of Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Planned Streetcar System, the Wave, was first entertained nearly 10 years ago, and the light at the end of this tunnel is finally in sight. The system, or 1.4-miles of it anyway, is said to be up and running by 2016, and with the current rate of progression that just might be accurate.
Not only will the insertion of the Wave benefit those who live and travel throughout the downtown Fort Lauderdale area everyday, but it will also be a catalyst to the tri-county passenger rail line, making it easier for visitors to get around in the city once they arrive. The system also comes equipped with a traffic signalization package which will likely connect the downtown stop lights under one network to improve conditions based on real time traffic. This will make traveling more efficient and wait times at the various stops much shorter.
To say the potential benefits of the Wave come to a crashing end here would be absolutely imprecise. Alongside the streetcar implementation comes the need for stations, which will be operated by solar power and strategically placed throughout the 2.7-mile route. The stations will offer a variety of information such as community events and attractions or destinations in the city, useful to locals and tourists alike.
The streetcar will be very valuable to the residents and businesses of Fort Lauderdale encouraging new investors and developments throughout downtown, not to mention the high increase of foot traffic that is expected as a result. The environmental sustainability that comes along with this initiative is a key advantage and a huge part of what will keep this project alive for years to come.
There have already been major metropolitan areas, such as Boston and Portland, which have proved remarkable success with the installment of such systems resulting in the lack of a need for a trial and error period. Transit truly is the way of the future, and it is soon to be the way of South Florida.
Video Provided by Broward MPO.