LA Streetcar: Ready to Connect Now

Over the past 15 years, Downtown Los Angeles has experienced a tremendous revitalization with a quadrupled resident population, significant employment growth, new commercial and residential developments, and a celebrated tourism, cultural, restaurant, and nightlife scene.

But the need for greater connectivity and continued revitalization is clear.

The LA Streetcar supports this vision by improving connections Downtown and to the regional transit network, bringing new life to under-invested areas, generating jobs, increasing safety, and ultimately preparing Downtown for the future.

Los Angeles shouldn’t have to wait any longer to enjoy the benefits of an interconnected transit system and the economic development that results from it.

LA Streetcar is a modern and sustainable urban circulator that was designed to meet the needs of Downtown’s residents, commuters, and tourists. The 3.8-mile route will run approximately 18 hours a day to connect riders with places like South Park, the Financial District and Historic Broadway, Grand Park and the Civic Center, the Fashion District and the Convention Center, Staples Center, and LA Live. It will also serve as a much-need connector to key local and regional bus and rail lines, serving as the first/last mile solution needed to bridge the gaps in Downtown’s existing public transportation system.

LA Streetcar will be the most frequent streetcar service in the entire country, with 7-minute headways during peak hours and frequencies of 10 to 15 minutes during off-hours. With easy and accessible boarding, the LA Streetcar will offer an equitable form of transportation for residents and visitors alike, and will catalyze additional commercial and residential development in the city’s most urban, transit-accessible core.


Below is an outline of recent activities and our schedule to deliver modern streetcar service to downtown Los Angeles:

August 2016: Public-private partnership (P3) financial analysis completed for City by Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors

November 2016: Final environmental impact report certified by City Council

November 2016: LA Streetcar secures $200 million in funding from Measure M, approved with 71% of the vote

Winter 2016 / 2017: Preliminary engineering (30% design) completed, finalizing updated cost estimate

2018: City applies to FTA and Metro For capital funding

2019: Received Federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) “Finding of No Significant Impact”. Finalize streetcar financial plan; begin final design and procurement

ASAP: Construction begins


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 provides up to $85 million in bonding capacity 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.


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.


us on