Streetcar Testing Starts In Downtown Oklahoma City
Monday, October 8, Oklahoma City is going to be testing the new streetcars. But you probably won't be seeing too many around. They’ll be tested from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., when the streets are relatively bare.
"Tonight, is when we start the initial testing of the downtown loop, so the street car will be towed by a vehicle to make sure everything is appropriate, and we don't have any issues. Then after that passes, then you'll start seeing the street car under its own power,” said MAPS Program Manager David Todd.
Streetcars played an important role in Oklahoma City’s history.
The year was 1907. A Swiss immigrant named Tony Kaiser opened Kaisers an ice cream shop at the corner of Northwest 10th Street and Walker Avenue. Back then, folks would ride the streetcars to Kaisers for a sweet treat.
Ironically, it’s the resurgence of the streetcars that almost closed the 100-year-old shop.
"Really, really was killing us,” said Kaisers manager Alberto Fonseca. “With the streets closed and everything. And the construction. Really to tell you the truth, we almost thought we were going to be closed."
The tracks run right in front of Kaisers. Management here hopes the streetcars will bring new customers to the old shop, just like they did a hundred years ago.
"Oh yeah. We are excited you know? Because it will bring more people to midtown,” said Fonseca.