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Voters Approve Streetcars Tax Measure in Downtown Los Angeles

Voters Approve Streetcars Tax Measure in Downtown Los Angeles

Return of the historic Red Car? (Metro Transportation Library)
Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)

This week, Los Angeles voters approved a local tax on downtown landowners to help pay for a downtown streetcar, which could begin running as early as 2016. The $125 million project would—yes—run on tracks, just like the streetcars that used to dominate the city.

Cars haven’t been chosen yet, but their primary route would go south on Broadway from 1st Street to 11th Street, west to Figueroa Street, north to 7th Street, east to Hill Street, and north, terminating at 1st Street. LA’s transportation agency, Metro, began work on the project in 2011 with the city’s former Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), with the city itself, and with Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc.

After the votes were counted, 73 percent of downtown voters approved the measure. Now the project needs to get federal approval before officially moving ahead. See more images of the historic Pacific Electric streetcars, which once dominated the city, below.

(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)
(Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)