Los Angeles is changing.
The city that grew up around the personal automobile is becoming more transit-oriented, walkable, and bicycle-friendly. For the past 15 years Downtown L.A. has led the way in that change, helping Angelenos reimagine their built environment and spurring changes that have helped create a safer, healthier, more economically and environmentally sustainable city. The Downtown L.A. Streetcar is the next step along that path – to a more connected, active, and productive Los Angeles.
The Downtown L.A. Streetcar is planned as a modern, fixed-rail streetcar system that will offer an easy to navigate and convenient mode of transportation connecting many of Downtown’s neighborhoods, destinations, and transit options. The approximately four-mile route will run frequently for 18 hours a day to connect riders with neighborhoods, including South Park, the Financial District and Historic Core, Grand Park and the Civic Center, the Fashion District, and the Convention Center and L.A. Live. The Downtown LA Streetcar will offer an attractive alternative to driving between neighborhood destinations for residents and visitors alike, and it will catalyze additional commercial and residential development in the city’s most urban, transit-accessible core.
Streetcars have a rich history in Southern California
Once serving as the backbone to an expansive rail transit network – the “Red Cars” and “Yellow Cars” were once the largest electric transit network in the country – that stretched all the way from the San Fernando Valley to San Bernardino. Central L.A. was the home to a dense network of “Yellow Car” streetcar lines that knitted together many of L.A.’s inner neighborhoods and districts. Then, as now, Downtown Los Angeles serves as the central transit hub for the local and regional rail system, but residents, employees, and visitors currently lack effective and reliable connections between the varying districts of Downtown L.A. The return of streetcar service to Downtown will reconnect these neighborhoods and provide riders with a much-needed “last-mile” connection between their homes, destinations, and regional transit connections.