ORANGE – As work continues in full swing on construction of the OC Streetcar, the project reached another important milestone this month with the OCTA Board approval of a contract for operations and maintenance of what will be Orange County’s first modern electric streetcar system.
The OCTA Board of Directors approved the $45 million contract with Herzog Transit Services, Inc. at its May 22 meeting.
“The OC Streetcar will provide Orange County residents with an important additional transit option, and this is another exciting milestone toward bringing the project to the people of Orange County,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove.
The OC Streetcar will run on a 4.1-mile route through Santa Ana and Garden Grove. It is scheduled to begin testing and operations in 2022.
Herzog Transit Services, based in Missouri, is a major industry provider for rail services across North America, including operating streetcar systems in Kansas City, Mo. and Oklahoma City, Okla.
Herzog, which also has extensive experience with the streetcar vehicle that will run on the OC Streetcar line, was selected as the top firm from among three qualified bidders. The contract includes a pre-revenue period of approximately 17 months, with an initial five-year revenue-operations term and two, two-year options.
The Orange County Transportation Authority, which is leading construction of the project, continues to work closely with officials from the Federal Transit Administration, which awarded a $149 million federal funding grant to the project in late 2018, allowing construction to begin.
Along with other federal money, that funding is expected to pay for more than half of the $408 million project. Other funds come from the state and from Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also known as OC Go.
The OC Streetcar route will serve Santa Ana’s thriving downtown and dense employment areas that include county and local government offices and courthouses in the Civic Center. The streetcar will carry passengers between the busy Santa Ana transit center and a transit stop at Harbor Boulevard and Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove, running along Santa Ana Boulevard, Fourth Street and the Pacific Electric right-of-way and connecting with OCTA’s busiest bus routes.
Six vehicles – with two spares – will operate daily, making stops at 10 locations in each direction every 10 to 15 minutes. Manufacturing of the Siemens S700 streetcar vehicles began last fall.
OCTA created a mobile app making it easier to get all the project information in a few swipes, including work locations, a business resource guide and project photos. The free OC Streetcar app can be downloaded via the Apple Store and for Android devices at Google Play.
For more information on the project, visit www.ocstreetcar.com.
About OCTA: The Orange County Transportation Authority is the county transportation planning commission, responsible for funding and implementing transit and capital projects for a balanced and sustainable transportation system that reflects the diverse travel needs of the county’s 34 cities and 3.2 million residents. With the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes freeways and express lanes, bus and rail transit, rideshare, commuter rail and active transportation.