Los Angeles — Varying Price Estimates
According to Los Angeles Magazine's web site, for years, Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) councilman Jose Huizar has advocated bringing streetcar service back to the city center but the price tag has been on an upward trend.
The latest estimate, discussed June 16 at a council transportation committee meeting, placed the 3.8-mile loop from South Park to Bunker Hill at $281.6 million, according to the Downtown News. That’s more than the $250 million figure quoted in October, but is less than a worst-case estimate of $327.8 million that the city developed two years ago. All these estimates are considerably over the original $125 million, which is what DTLA voters were told when they approved a special tax to cover some of the costs a few years ago.
With the current estimate, the streetcar project now needs an extra $144 million. Huizar believes a public-private partnership could cover the difference. Federal funds could also play a role, but a potential $75 million Small Starts grant would only be available if the total project budget is under $250 million. Officials will likely work hard to keep the project under that figure.
Some observers wonder if a streetcar is needed in DTLA, which has DASH buses, Metro buses, commuter buses, two subway lines, and three light rail lines. Advocates say the project would do wonders for development, tourism, and make trips from Staples Center to Disney Hall much easier.