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, bike-share, 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 beaten.
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!
Despite a decade of unprecedented positive growth, there are still areas around Downtown that require a bit more attention.
Boosting development along the route
Pedestrian circulation is proven to drive urban revitalization, redevelopment, and economic growth around the world. Here is what the Streetcar will do.
There are two main reasons why the Streetcar holds such an enormous potential to reactivate historic buildings and redevelop underutilized parcels:
Spending: The increased connectivity and access provided by the Streetcar will generate approximately $24.5 million in new spending on retail, food, beverage, entertainment, and hospitality services per year.*
Development: A dependable streetcar system will assure investors that their investments have permanent access to public transit and a steady flow of patrons and tenants. This will lead to an estimated $1.1 billion in new Downtown residential construction, housing units, and office spaces.*
Revenue: Thanks to increases in retail sales, food and beverage purchases, hotel bookings, and property value, the city will collect around $47 million in new revenue over 30 years.*
Jobs: 9,300 jobs will be created across all sectors including the construction and operations of the Streetcar, new offices, and residential buildings.
Communities around the country are already seeing the benefits of their investment in a streetcar, with significant mixed-use development within a few blocks of their streetcar systems. Much of this development was propelled by the level of pedestrian and retail activity that the streetcars generated throughout the day and night.
Did you know that at 8.5 trains per hour during peak time, the DTLA Streetcar will be one of the most frequent streetcars in the country?
You can count on:
With the DTLA streetcar, there’ll be no need to strategically plan your whole schedule around arrival times whenever you leave the store, head to work, or start your trek home. Miss one and another is just around the corner.
In the last decade, Downtown L.A. has experienced tremendous revitalization – from a quadrupled residential population and urban neighborhood growth, to major office and commercial developments, and the incredible success of entertainment and cultural destinations. However, connecting all of these great resources and destinations so that residents, workers and visitors can easily access them remains a challenge.
Uniting DTLA’s premiere cultural icons
The Streetcar route has been designed to link with regional transit to serve Downtown’s many districts, including:
Having this level of connectivity will enable people to visit entertainment, cultural, and civic destinations while being able to park once, and then have fun in Downtown’s ever growing arts, entertainment, and business districts.
With so many awesome things to do Downtown, it’s no surprise that much of its traffic is caused by internal circulation – people driving around Downtown looking for a place to park (or repark) their car near the destinations they want to reach.
The benefit of an urban circulator
Gridlock be-gone. The Streetcar, curb running and traveling at the same speed and in the same lane of traffic as other vehicles, will decrease the need for lot-to-lot travel and provide a pedestrian friendly alternative to driving. Without the hassle of parking, a streetcar encourages pedestrian travel and takes cars off busy Downtown streets thereby easing the dreaded pangs of gridlock. Not to mention, walking from place to place also becomes a much more comfortable and preferable option when you know you can depend on the Streetcar to make up the majority of the distance.
Despite the availability of the commuter train, subway, light rail, and bus service, our current system’s ability to connect the dots between regional transit and Downtown destinations leaves a lot to be desired.
Welcome to front door delivery
The Streetcar will provide the first and last mile solution needed to integrate Downtown’s current and future rail, bus, and parking facilities together into an innovative, efficient, and modern circulation system. With this level of connectivity, residents and visitors will be able to seamlessly flow from one venue to the next on a nearly customizable schedule thanks to real-time screens at the stops and an easy to operate smartphone app. The Streetcar helps to increase the area people can cover while traveling on foot or bike. Stop waiting, stop driving. Enjoy front door delivery. The Streetcar will directly connect to:
As much as we may love living, working and enjoying our vibrant, active city, sometimes urban chaos can get in the way of community development and camaraderie.
A quiet, affordable, and convenient solution
By increasing walkability and street activity the Streetcar will ease common concerns associated with Downtown living. Without stressing over expired meters and parking tickets, the Streetcar encourages leisurely strolls, friendly chit chat, and some potentially fantastic elbow rubbing, too. By extending the distance a person can comfortably walk, streetcars amplify the benefits of pedestrian-scale communities and promote healthy urban living by encouraging active lifestyles, creating connections between community members and neighborhood services, and promoting safety. With the Streetcar, take your time and get to know your city… there’s no rush.
Prius on rails
Did we mention that the Streetcar is virtually silent? The noise pollution on heavily traveled bus corridors is often unbearable to residents, businesses, and visitors. In Downtown L.A., this audible barrier stifles not only economic investment, but prevents a mixed and varied collection of uses in public areas and along sidewalks. The electric motors streetcars employ are virtually silent, and will encourage more active uses and outdoor activities.
Downtown Los Angeles has a number of remarkable streets and pedestrian spaces, but some areas lack activity and can feel unsafe -especially at night.
A new kind of neighborhood watch
Not only will the streetcar put eyes on the street by running 18 hours a day, but it will play a pivotal role in rehabilitating these streets to make Downtown feel safer, more vibrant, and more active – day and night.