ORANGE, Calif., Nov. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Transportation Authority today (Friday, Nov. 30) brought together local, state, and federal officials to accept a $149 million federal grant and to mark construction starting on the county's first modern electric streetcar.
Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams and OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson signed a Full-Funding Grant Agreement at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, which with other federal funding will pay for more than half of the approximately $408 million OC Streetcar project.
Following the signing, transportation officials joined with leaders from Santa Ana and Garden Grove – the two cities that originally developed the project – and with business and community leaders to break ground on the OC Streetcar.
"This is a truly exciting day as we officially begin construction on a new travel option in Orange County's urban core where public transit is critical in moving residents, employees and visitors on a daily basis," said OCTA Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, also the county's Fifth District Supervisor.
The acceptance of the FTA's $149 million grant follows years of close coordination between OCTA and the FTA to plan the rail transit line.
"This project is a good example of leveraging federal funds to support locally driven transportation priorities," said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. "It will provide important multi-modal connections to Amtrak, Metrolink commuter rail, Greyhound, and local bus service."
Funding is provided through FTA's Capital Investment Grants Program, which helps fund major transit infrastructure projects across the nation.
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, also an OCTA director, said he's happy to see the FTA recognize the value of the project.
"Reaching these two milestones is tremendous for the city of Santa Ana and for all of Orange County as OCTA moves forward on building this project that will help people travel through the heart of our county," Pulido said.
The OC Streetcar will run on a 4.1-mile route between the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and Garden Grove, connecting with Orange County's busiest bus routes.
"The OC Streetcar project is now a reality because of significant collaboration backed by sound transportation planning," said Johnson.
Walsh Construction was awarded the construction contract and Siemens was awarded the vehicle contract for the project, slated to begin testing and operations in late 2021.
About OCTA: The Orange County Transportation Authority is responsible for planning, funding and implementing transit and capital projects serving 34 cities and 3.1 million residents. With the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes freeways and express lanes, bus and rail transit, commuter rail and active transportation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713 Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697