LA is ready to build the Streetcar now. The Streetcar team has already secured 30 years’ worth of operations funding and is working to complete a capital financial plan.
1. Community Facilities District (CFD): In 2012, a special tax through the creation of a Community Facilities District was approved by 73% of voters within the Downtown Streetcar area. The CFD will provide up to $85 million for project construction.
2. FTA Small Starts Grant: The project is eligible to apply for an FTA Small Starts Grant, which could provide up to $100 million for capital costs. LADOT and LABOE are working closely with FTA to ensure the application process is successful.
3. Metro Measure M: In November 2016, LA County voters approved the Measure M transit funding ballot initiative with over 71% in favor. Measure M included $200 million for the Downtown LA Streetcar currently allocated for 2053. Given project readiness and the availability of additional time-sensitive funding sources, in October 2018 the city submitted its formal request to accelerate a portion of Measure M funds to fiscal year 2020. If Metro identifies an accelerated funding pathway, they will be able to significantly reduce their original financial commitment to the project and construct the streetcar close to 30 years ahead of schedule.
4. Public-Private Partnership(s): The city is also looking into the possibility for a public-private partnership (P3) that can provide funding and/or reduce capital or operations costs for the streetcar. Potential opportunities for P3s include advertising rights, joint-development of land used for the maintenance and storage facility, and a design, build, finance, operate, maintain (DBFOM) contract that would encourage private construction and operation of the streetcar in exchange for rights to revenue, regular payments by the city, etc. Ernst & Young has been hired by the city to perform a thorough analysis of P3 opportunities.
In 2013, the LA City Council approved $295 million in operations funding from its Measure R Local Return fund to support the streetcar for 30 years. With this funding, the Los Angeles Streetcar will offer service frequencies greater than any other streetcar in the country, with a streetcar arriving every 7 minutes during peak hours.
As of our May 2015 independent cost estimate, the projected cost of the LA Streetcar is $266 million, or $281.6 million with the Grand Avenue extension.