May 22nd, 2012 by Chris Keenan
Although it has taken more than twenty years, Oklahoma City is making progress in its attempts to offer its citizens a variety of ways to get around town. It has been almost seventy years since the last streetcar was in operation, and automobiles have naturally become the dominant method of transportation in the area. However, with the city poised to unveil a new streetcar program, charging stations for electric cars, and even a bike sharing system, everything is about to change.
Officials intend to link five different areas to the streetcar system, with the possibility of adding more as time goes on. Although there are some issues that have not been addressed yet, such as how much the system will cost to maintain and exactly what path the potential expansion will take, the city is definitely moving forward with its plans.
In addition, the city is instituting a program that makes it convenient for individuals with electric cars to park in the downtown area — they will have the option of recharging their vehicle right at the curb. The hope is that by making it convenient for people to own electric cars, more families will choose this eco-friendly option the next time they are shopping for a vehicle.
Finally, not only are bicycle racks being put in around the city, but a bike-sharing system is poised to begin shortly. Officials anticipate opening a total of six different stations around the downtown area. Individuals who purchase a membership will have the opportunity to borrow a bike at no cost for the first thirty minutes of use, with a fee of two dollars for each additional half-hour that the bike is being utilized will then be charged. Purchasing a membership for a full year will cost $75, and there are also daily and monthly membership opportunities available. However, these short-term membership options are much more expensive than the annual pass.
All of these initiatives will give the citizens of Oklahoma City, as well as those who travel or work there, a myriad of different transportation choices. For example, if someone living at the bayside condos travels into Oklahoma City for a short vacation, they will have access to each of these different opportunities. Still, it will likely be difficult for residents of Oklahoma City to picture their lives without automobiles, since driving is such an integral part of most people’s lives.
Image: Oklahoma City downtown courtesy Shutterstock
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