Project History

2000 – 2009

A downtown transit and pedestrian mobility study was completed through partnerships with the Fort Lauderdale’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Broward County, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Clean Air Cooperative, the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (TMA) and South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail (SFRTA/TriRail) that resulted in the need to invest in transit and pedestrian improvements in downtown.

Along with many steps taken to improve connectivity and the pedestrian realm, the DDA, in partnership with FDOT and the Broward MPO, completed an Alternative Analysis (AA) and Environmental Assessment (EA). These studies were conducted to identify potential route options, technology and potential environmental impacts associated with designing and building a transit improvement.

During this process, there was a request from the community to extend the project boundaries to the hospital on SE 17 Street. So in 2006, the study area was extended to the Hospital District.

In 2008, a locally preferred alternative (LPA) was endorsed by Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, and the DDA. The route extends from Sistrunk Blvd/NE 6 St on the north to SE 17th St on the south.

Upon completion, Broward County committed to be the owner and operator of the system. The City of Fort Lauderdale pledged a capital contribution of $10.5 million and agreed to advance a special assessment process to raise the remaining local share.

2010 and 2011

With the needs identified, the project’s partnership began to solidify with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) project sponsor and the manager of design and construction. In addition, the project team worked hard to finalize the necessary federal documents and meet with area property owners about the project.

2012 and 2013

The environmental compliance process was completed and the project partners entered into a formal agreement. A project management consultant team (PMC) was formed. The final assessment was unanimously approved by the City Commission on July 9, 2013, and represented a monumental step not only for the project, but also for the future of Downtown, the City and Broward County.


In early 2014, it was announced that the Wave Streetcar project was recommended for $50 million in Small Starts grant funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) budget.  In fall 2014, the project continued with the design and the City of Fort Lauderdale committed to fund the Flagler Village Loop.


In spring 2015, the project hosted a public hearing to discuss the relocation of the Vehicle Maintenance and Storage Facility (VMSF) for the Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA). In the summer, the Supplemental EA was completed and the project received a designation of “Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)”. The project team also obtained the property at SW 18 Street and SW 1 Avenue for the Vehicle Maintenance and Storage Facility (VMSF).


In early 2016, it was announced that the Wave Streetcar project was recommended for an additional $11 million in Small Starts grant funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) budget, providing additional funding required to design and construct the project. The Florida Department of Transportation became the lead partner, taking on the role of project manager. The first advertisement of the Request for Proposal (RFP) was released in the spring of 2016.


The streetcar vehicle manufacturer, Siemens, was selected in September 2017 and Broward County purchased five vehicles for the project. The project price opening of the construction bids was on October 23, 2017. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) rejected all bids for the Wave Streetcar project on November 05, 2017 due to the price proposals exceeding the Department’s program funds. The Department will re-advertise the project as a design build contract with a modified scope of work.


The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Design-Build project was re-advertised on December 1, 2017. The bid price opening is scheduled for April 26, 2018 and the Selection Meeting for the Intent to Award the contract is scheduled for May 3, 2018.