Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Wave Streetcar?

The Wave Streetcar is a 2.8-mile hybrid, fixed-rail public transportation system that will provide a new and modern mode of transit to Downtown Fort Lauderdale serving employment, medical and government centers, and institutions of higher learning. The Wave Streetcar will operate on a steel-tracked system that will run in existing street lanes, with other vehicles.

Why choose a streetcar?

Streetcars provide attractive short-trip urban circulation and help to reshape public space. They connect key activity centers and parking, provide frequent service, have an easily understood route, and use quiet electric vehicles that fit well into an urban setting. Streetcars offer a new and unique transit option and they serve as a complement to various modes of transportation.

How is the Wave Streetcar funded?

Federal $82,571,000
State $52,856,000
Local $57,854,000
City of Fort Lauderdale Flagler Loop $ 7,545,000
Broward County $10,403,000
MPO Local Funds $ 4,228,000
City of Fort Lauderdale Cash & Land $10,500,000
Special Assessment $20,590,000
Downtown Development Authority $ 1,000,000

What is the current budget for this project?

The current budget of the Wave Streetcar project is $195 million. The cost to build the system is estimated to be $144M and includes construction costs of the infrastructure and purchase of streetcar vehicles and spare parts. The remaining $51M includes costs for the planning and project development stage, including environmental impact assessment studies, preliminary and final engineering, purchase of right-of-way property, program management and administration, construction management, engineering and inspection services, construction performance bonuses, and other procurement costs.

Why did the budget for the project increase from the original $142 million?

The budget for the project increased due to additional improvements that have been added throughout the project. These include the loop to the north end of Flagler Village, the relocation of the streetcar maintenance and operations facility to SW 18th Street and SW 1st Avenue requiring an extension of the tracks, the addition of more sophisticated communications equipment and the upgrade of the Operations Center to be a Type IV facility which meets more stringent wind load and flooding elevation requirements.

Who will own the Wave Streetcar?

Broward County Transit (BCT) will own and operate the Wave Streetcar.

When will construction for the Wave Streetcar begin?

Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2018.

When will the Wave Streetcar begin providing service?

Revenue service is expected to begin in early 2021.

Where will the Wave Streetcar go and how many stops will it make?

The Wave Streetcar’s proposed route will provide service to Downtown Fort Lauderdale and adjacent areas, with stops at 14 platforms along the route.

Will the Wave Streetcar be expanded to serve other areas in the County?

Plans for future expansion include extensions to Port Everglades and the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

How is the Wave Streetcar powered and does it use a cable like other streetcars?

The Wave streetcars will be powered by battery and an overhead electric contact system. The streetcar receives electricity from a wire that is suspended approximately 20 feet over the travel lane in which the streetcar runs. The electricity provides power to the motor which runs the streetcar. The streetcars will operate on battery power up to a ½ mile while crossing the SE 3rd Avenue Bridge over the New River.

What will the streetcars look like and how many people can ride in a streetcar?

Wave vehicles are modern streetcars. Each hybrid battery and electric powered vehicle has a sleek, modern look, is ADA compliant and can accommodate over 150 riders.

How fast will the Wave Streetcar travel?

Streetcar vehicles will travel with the flow of traffic throughout the corridor.

Will the Wave Streetcar cause noise and vibrations when in service?

Streetcars are generally quieter than a typical bus. Noise from a streetcar is generated from the wheel to rail contact, rather than from the engine, like a bus.

Will the Wave Streetcar be impacted by weather such as hurricanes?

Just as buses cannot be safely operated during a hurricane or other severe weather conditions (high winds, heavy rain, flooding), Wave Streetcars will not operate in these conditions if continued operation is deemed unsafe. Broward County Transit (BCT) currently has operating procedures that guide service suspension and securing of vehicles when a hurricane is imminent. This procedure will be updated to include guidance for suspension of streetcar service, suspension of the overhead power service, and securing of streetcars when severe weather is imminent.

How will the Wave Streetcar benefit those who do not live or travel in the downtown area?

The Wave Streetcar will benefit all residents of the Greater Fort Lauderdale area by increasing mobility, creating jobs, increasing tax revenue, attracting investment and generating tourism. The Wave Streetcar is the first phase of a planned regional transportation system that will make it easier to connect to other communities in our region beyond Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

How will the streetcar fit in with other ways of getting around (walking, biking, buses and cars)?

The Wave Streetcar is part of a regional plan for an integrated multi-modal transportation system that offers transit services with added service frequency, hours and capacity. The Wave Streetcar will complement the full spectrum of mobility options including Brightline, Tri-Rail, Sun Trolley, BCT, water taxi, ride-share services, biking and walking.

Is the Wave Streetcar safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?

The Wave Streetcar is designed for use in high pedestrian areas. Due to the vehicle operating in the roadway and being required to follow normal traffic signals, this type of system is more predictable and, therefore, less hazardous to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Each streetcar vehicle requires a trained driver who is aware of other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in the roadway. The streetcar will operate at or below the speed limit and follow all rules of the road, including sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians.

Is the Wave Streetcar easily accessible for those with disabilities?

Yes, the Wave Streetcar vehicles and stops will accommodate all riders, including those with disabilities. Streetcar vehicles feature a low floor design that allows for easy on-off boarding via wheelchair or stroller. Signage is provided in Braille to help the visually impaired use the system, and streetcar stops are ADA compliant with access ramps and support bars. Ticketing information and purchase kiosks will also accommodate people with disabilities.

Is this project “green” and will it promote sustainability?

The hybrid battery and electric powered streetcar can accommodate up to 150 passengers and will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing vehicle trips. The VMSF (Vehicle Maintenance and Storage Facility) will be LEED Silver certified and the project will obtain Envision Silver verification from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure. These are both “green” programs.

What will be the hours of operation for the Wave Streetcar and how often will the streetcars run?

The Wave Streetcar is expected to stop at stations every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the day of the week and the time of day. More precise schedules will be published prior to the start of revenue service.

Normal hours of operations are expected to be as follows:

Monday-Thursday – 6:00 am – 12:00 am

Friday – 6:00 am – 1:30 am

Saturday – 7:00 am – 1:30am

Sunday-Holidays – 7:00 am – 10:00 pm

How much will the Wave Streetcar cost to ride and will the ticket be compatible with other County services?

The cost to ride the Wave Streetcar has not yet been determined however fares are expected to be similar to those of Broward County Transit (BCT) bus fares. Compatibility with other County transportation services is yet to be determined.

Can I bring my bicycle on the Wave Streetcar?

Bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers (and other wheeled vehicles) are able to board and disembark.

How many streetcars will operate during service hours?

When the Wave Streetcar opens for revenue service, four vehicles will be in operation during peak service hours. As the system expands, or demands increase, the number of vehicles may increase.

Will there be cameras on the Wave Streetcar?

The streetcars will have external and internal cameras.

Will I be able to park on the streetcar route?

Parking will still be available along the streetcar route.

Can I bring my pet on the Wave Streetcar?

Service animals will be allowed on the streetcar as well as other pets that are within a small carrier.

How will the Wave Streetcar affect special events along the route?

There are many special events in the corridor that will be serviced by the streetcar. In most cases, the streetcar will operate as normal during special events and the streetcar can be used to access these events from remote parking areas. The streetcar schedule may be modified to accommodate recurring annual events and special events. Notice of any planned changes in the schedule will be posted on the streetcar website and at the streetcar stops in advance.

How will the Wave Streetcar affect neighborhoods?

The streetcar will enhance transportation connectivity throughout Downtown Fort Lauderdale for residents and visitors. More than $450 million has been invested in areas near the streetcar route by private developers, including new mixed-use housing projects, restaurants, and retail.

How will construction impact traffic and access to downtown businesses?

The project team and its partners are aware that infrastructure projects such as this will inevitably cause some disruption. The linear nature of the streetcar route allows the project to be constructed in two to three block segments so that properties are impacted for relatively short periods. As the project moves into the construction phase, a staging plan will be developed and communicated with businesses along the route, using all reasonable efforts to minimize disruption.

Will construction be done in segments?

The project is anticipated to be built in 12 segments. Each segment will take approximately 5 to 7 months to construct. Multiple segments will be constructed concurrently.

Will the SE 3rd Avenue Bridge be closed to vehicular traffic during construction?

The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic for approximately 150 days.

How will emergency response be handled when the SE 3rd Avenue Bridge is closed?

The Design-Build firm is required to coordinate with all emergency responders that will be impacted by the bridge closure. While the SE 3rd Avenue Bridge is temporarily out of service, alternate North/South routes for emergency response include South Andrew Avenue Bridge, SW 4th Avenue Bridge, and the US-1 tunnel.

Was there a study done to understand the affect the streetcar will have on traffic?

The Wave Streetcar went through a study phase that included an environmental assessment in 2012 and again in 2015. The study found that the streetcar is expected to have a minimal impact on the roadway level of service. The signalization along the corridor will facilitate the north-south movement of traffic, which are the primary traffic movers. This will mitigate some of the additional delay resulting from mixed-traffic operations. Additionally, the project will limit access to side streets along South Andrews Avenue. As a result, there will be a reduction of left-turning traffic which can impede traffic.

How are special assessment funds being spent?

The assessment paid by property owners has been used to pay for the preliminary design of the Wave Streetcar. The money raised by this 25-year assessment will continue to fund the construction and future operation of the streetcar.

How much will the Wave Streetcar cost to ride and will the ticket be compatible with other County services?

Broward County Transit (BCT) will determine the cost of the streetcar fare, as they will own and operate the Wave Streetcar. It is anticipated the cost will be competitive with BCT bus fares. Daily, monthly, and annual passes will also be available. The system will integrate into Broward County’s universal pass system.

Will the Wave Streetcar have a dedicated lane in traffic or can I drive in the same lane?

Vehicular traffic and the streetcar will share the same lane of traffic.

How often will the Wave Streetcar pick up passengers at any given stop and what time will it run?

The Wave Streetcar is expected to pass by stations every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the day of the week and the time of day. More precise schedules will be published once the system is operational.

Normal hours of operations are expected to be as follows:

  • Monday-Thursday – 6:00 am-12:00 am
  • Friday – 6:00 am-1:30 am
  • Saturday – 7:00 am-1:30am
  • Sunday-Holiday – 7:00 am-10:00 pm

What will happen to the Sun Trolley when the Wave Streetcar is operational?

The Sun Trolley will be redeployed to serve the surrounding neighborhoods and will make connections to the Wave Streetcar and our regional transit network.

Will existing BCT routes be affected by the Wave Streetcar?

Operation of the Wave Streetcar should not affect other routes.