4 mass transit projects comparable to the U2C in price

Billed as a project that will take Jacksonville and downtown to the next level, the conversion of the Skyway into a one-of-a-kind autonomous transit system called the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) has become a popular topic around town. Either people tend to love it, hate it or have feelings but keep quiet for political and job securities sake. Nevertheless, how it compares in costs to other recently completed mass transit projects across the country and how taxpayers can get more value for their investment are rarely discussed in those conversations. To jump start that conversation, here are few mass transit projects across the country that were recently completed for a similar cost per mile.

3. Oklahoma City Streetcar

Oklahoma City, OK

The OKC Streetcar

  • Technology: Modern Streetcar (Brooksville Liberty)
  • Year Completed: December 14, 2018
  • Length: 4.8 miles
  • Construction Costs: $136 million
  • Construction Costs per mile: $28 million

First conceived in a 2005 regional transit study, the Oklahoma City Streetcar (OKC Streetcar) was completed in 2018. Financed through MAPS 3, a sales tax-financed public works program, the OKC Streetcar features two lines that connect the city’s central business district with the entertainment district, Bricktown, and the Midtown District. Streetcars currently operate seven days a week on a headway of 15-18 minutes.

4. QLINE Streetcar

Detroit, MI

The QLINE Streetcar in Detroit.

  • Technology: Modern Streetcar (Brooksville Liberty)
  • Year Completed: 2017
  • Length: 3.4 miles
  • Total Construction Cost: $187 million per mile
  • Construction Cost Per Mile: $55 million

Situated between Downtown Detroit and New Center, Midtown is a mixed-use neighborhood undergoing significant redevelopment. Surrounded by freeways, the neighborhood is home to some of Detroit’s largest employers, including the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University. Much of the recent infill development has been stimulated by the presence of The QLINE. The QLINE is a 3.3-mile long modern streetcar line that connects Midtown with Downtown Detroit and New Center. Completed in 2017, the streetcar line runs along Woodward Avenue for its entire route, linking the Detroit River waterfront and the Detroit People Mover (the JTA Skyway’s sibling) with an Amtrak intercity rail station in New Center.