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Downtown Streetcar Project to go Nonprofit

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A Portland Streetcar | Photo by pdxjeff via Flickr

Skipping the bureaucracies of Metro and the city's own Department of Transportation, a coalition of downtown stakeholders, including government officials, voted last week to create a nonprofit to build a 3-mile streetcar line that would travel mostly along Broadway from LA Live to the some-day Grand Avenue Project.

The nonprofit will tentatively be named L.A. Streetcar Inc., inspired by Portland Streetcar Inc. who built that city's system, according to the Downtown News.

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The project was originally intended to be a ten-year one, but with recent enthusiasm, especially after studying the economic boost the streetcars gave Portland, Councilman Jose Huizar changed priorities, hoping it could be done in five years. The first hurdle is funding, which is $60-$90 million. That could take a couple years and Reyes said construction would take another few, even though in Portland, construction took one block per week. If the same model were to be applied in Los Angeles, a 3-mile system would be built in a little over six months.