The LA Streetcar project has made a lot of progress in the last few years, and we are very excited about the next chapter in the development of this project.
For the past 15 years, Downtown LA has led the way in helping Angelenos to reimagine their built environment. Together, we’re building a city that is more connected, active, fun, and sustainable than ever before. The LA Streetcar is the next step along that path – and we’re ready to build it today.
With the completion of our federal environmental process in 2019, the project has secured both CEQA and NEPA clearance. The LA Streetcar is now shovel-ready as a result of the advance engineering, design and utility work achieved over the last several years. As we work to lock down final funding commitments, utility relocation could begin as soon as 2021, with project construction and testing from 2022-2025, followed by the beginning of passenger service.
The LA Streetcar Inc. Board of Directors is actively pursuing some new ideas to help deliver a smarter, more connected streetcar – we’re calling it DTLA Connext, because it does just that – highlighting the streetcar (and future extensions of the Streetcar) as the main connector to all the other transit, rail and micro-mobility options available in Downtown LA.
We are also excited because more and more we are seeing how the streetcar plays an important role in supporting the new policy and development objectives underway for downtown. From the DTLA 2040 Community Plan Update, which will add thousands of new residents, businesses and retail establishments to DTLA, to the Green New Deal for LA which focuses on clean energy, clean transportation options and the need to Grow the Grid for Downtown’s electrical power, to the DTLA Mobility Study looking at the future of transportation investment in DTLA, to the study of a Car-Free Broadway now underway – the electric streetcar is an important partner in helping make these plans achieve these important goals!
As part of our work on DTLA Connext, the LASI Board of Directors is also looking at how Phase 1 of the streetcar could be expanded to connect even more of the new DTLA – especially to serve significant planned growth and exploding development towards the Arts District in the south and east and to planned rail investments that stop at the edge of downtown.. We are looking at opportunities to partner with Metro and the development community to identify ways in which additional phases of streetcar could support multiple projects that will come to life under the DTLA 2040 community plan update, and encourage more people to live and travel in DTLA without a car.
Finally, we are looking at ways to deliver the streetcar project differently than we had first envisioned more than 10 years ago. A lot has changed since we began. None of the key rail investments like Metro’s Regional Connector were under construction, and the major growth projected for downtown hadn’t yet broken ground. As such, the LASI Board of Directors believe that the Streetcar needs to adapt and change with the times. We are working hard to create a program to potentially accelerate funds dedicated to the Streetcar in later years of Measure M on a faster time horizon. That means considering federal loan programs like TIFIA and exploring possible public private partnership opportunities.
Now more than ever, the Streetcar is the heart of a more mobile, more connected, cleaner, and vibrant downtown Los Angeles. It’s the time to bring this project to fruition and connect our past to our future. We are so grateful for all the support we have gotten throughout this journey and look forward to the coming months which promise to be filled with progress and inspiration. We hope you will stay connected through this next phase
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