Higher Cost Estimates Could Doom Fort Lauderdale Streetcar

While the 2.8 mile Wave Streetcar project has secured $195 million, proposals for design and construction are coming in higher than expected, which would leave Broward County and Fort Lauderdale responsible for half the extra cost.

2 minute read

January 16, 2018, 11:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

Fort Lauderdale

Conceptual rendering. / Wave Streetcar

Broward County commissioners are threatening to derail the streetcar due to the higher than expected costs, reports Larry Barszewski for the Sun Sentinel on Jan. 11. The Florida Department of Transportation is "preparing to seek new proposals to build the system after rejecting the previous bids in November that would have cost close to double what had been budgeted."

Before the state can move forward it must receive authorization from county commissioners, who have had increasing concerns about the project after the previous bids were announced. 

"Right now, I think it’s on shaky ground," said Commissioner Chip LaMarca, a supporter of the project.

According to the project's website, "[t]he project is scheduled to be awarded  a contractor in early 2018. There is a complete funding plan in place which includes an executed Federal TIGER grant and Federal Small Starts Grant." The site lists seven partners, including the city of Fort Lauderdale, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Broward County Transit would be responsible for the operations and maintenance, funded by the county, "which could cost up to $6 million a year, adds Barszewski.

Several commissioners see previous support for the Wave drying up in Fort Lauderdale, where all three mayoral candidates in the city’s Jan. 16 elections — and most of the City Commission candidates — have said they oppose the project.

In November 2016, a county transportation sales tax measure with significant funding for the streetcar received majority voter approval, but it was paired with a Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization infrastructure initiative which was rejected, resulting in both measures being defeated due to the agreement between the county and the MPO.

Hat tip to David Daniels, Planetizen reader.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 in Sun Sentinel

Large historic homes and white picket fences line a street.

The End of Single-Family Zoning in Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington County is the latest jurisdiction in the country to effectively end single-family zoning.

March 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Buses in downtown Seattle on the dedicated 3rd Avenue bus lanes

Seattle Bus Lane Cameras Capture Over 100,000 Violations

An automated traffic enforcement pilot program caught drivers illegally using transit lanes more than 110,000 times in less than a year.

March 28, 2023 - Axios

Amtrak Acela Express train passing through Harrison station in Newark, New Jersey

‘Train Daddy’ Andy Byford to Oversee Amtrak’s High-Speed Rail Efforts

Byford, who formerly ran NYC Transit and Transport for London, could bring renewed vigor to the agency’s plans to expand regional rail in the United States.

March 28, 2023 - StreetsBlog NYC

A row of Victorian homes in San Francisco, California

San Francisco Rents Cheaper Now Than in 2020

Though ‘cheap’ is a relative term.

March 30 - San Francisco Examiner

25 mph speed limit sign partially obscured by red and orange fall leaves

Study: Seattle’s Lower Speed Limits Reduced Crash Injuries

A change in the city’s speed limits has been shown to reduce the likelihood of injuries during collisions.

March 30 - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Couple embracing happily in front of home with "SOLD" sign

Millennials Now Majority Homeowners

Just over half of people in the ‘Y’ generation now own homes, but the largest generation also continues to dominate the rental market.

March 30 - RentCafé

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.