The Los Angeles Streetcar will transform downtown LA with new investments in our street network and sidewalks, improved access and first/last-mile connections, increased pedestrian safety, cleaner air, and added investment in housing, office space, bars and restaurants, and cultural destinations. On top of these concrete benefits, the streetcar will also differentiate downtown from other neighborhoods and help demonstrate to the world how committed Los Angeles is to shedding its reputation as a car-centric city.
The promise of the streetcar has already begun to spur revitalization throughout downtown, particularly along the Historic Broadway corridor where long-vacant buildings are being reactivated as housing, co-working spaces, hotels, and other exciting uses. In 2014, an economic analysis by AECOM estimated that the streetcar would add over a billion dollars of investment in new housing and office space, hundreds of millions in new tax revenues, and tens of thousands of jobs to downtown over the next several decades.
Once the streetcar is built and in service, it will immediately begin providing a host of other benefits, including:
Integration with regional and local transit: We’re working with Metro and downtown transportation stakeholders to ensure that the streetcar provides essential connections to regional rail and bus services, and can serve as a local spine that supports other valuable transportation options including shuttle services, on-demand ridesharing, bikeshare, and more.
High frequency service: The LA Streetcar will be the most frequent-running streetcar service in the country. During peak hours, the next streetcar will always be just around the corner with headways of just 7 minutes—twice as frequent as the typical standard for “high frequency networks.”
Safety improvements: In downtown, we believe that pedestrians should come first. The streetcar is being accompanied by “complete streets” investments including the Broadway Streetscape Master Plan and My Figueroa, both of which provide more space for pedestrians and others who choose to get around using transit or their own two feet.
Improved accessibility: With level-boarding platforms, streetcars are the easiest mode of street transportation for individuals with disabilities and mobility impairments. Even for those just pushing a stroller or carrying a few arms full of groceries, the convenience of streetcars can’t be beat.
Connecting downtown neighborhoods: Downtown is a big place with many unique districts. Getting from one to another—such as from Grand Park to the Fashion District—can be a pain, and the streetcar will help encourage more trips and a stronger sense of connection between downtown’s diverse, exciting, inspiring neighborhoods.
Promoting smart growth: In cities like Portland, investment in streetcars has spurred more dense construction of housing and commercial space. We want to promote the same for downtown LA so that we make the most of scarce urban land and ensure that the maximum number of people have access to housing and jobs in the city’s most transit-accessible community. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for the economy, and it’s what makes downtowns such fun places to be!
Park once, and go!: Because of how downtown is arranged, many trips from one district to another are made with cars. With the streetcar in place, workers and visitors will be able to park once when they arrive downtown, then use the streetcar to travel between their various destinations. Going from Grand Central Market to Staples Center? Save yourself the stress, park once, and go!