We are super excited about the modern streetcar/transit system that is coming to OKC thanks to MAPS 3. But it’s not the first time that rail-based transit has graced Oklahoma City’s streets. When housing districts were developed between Northwest 10th and Northwest 23rd Streets in the early 1900s, the new houses were too far for most people to walk to work. The need for an efficient public transportation system was apparent.
In 1902, Anton Classen, Charles Colcord, Henry Overholser and John Shartel (the namesakes of a street, hotel, lake and street, respectively) obtained a franchise for a streetcar system with two lines that helped Oklahoma City’s industrious business people get to and from work daily. As Oklahoma City’s population boomed, the system extended to include recreation destinations, including State Fair Park, Delmar Gardens and Wheeler Park. By 1906, nearly four million riders had utilized the system. Read more about the history of OKC’s transit system.