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'We Intend to Ride a Streetcar Downtown by 2014'

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A streetcar in Portland, OR | Photo by pdxjeff via Flickr

Funding for the proposed 3.4-mile downtown streetcar could get a step up on Thursday when the Community Redevelopment Agency is scheduled to vote on giving the project $5 million. The whole project is estimated to cost $90 million with "30% - 50% of that total.. expected to come from the private sector via an assessment on surrounding property owners," reports Eric Richardson at blogdowntown. Other funding could come from Metro and the federal government.

Councilmen Jose Huizar who announced the funding vote in a press release today said “This vote represents an opportunity for the public sector to demonstrate its commitment to bringing a modern streetcar system to Downtown Los Angeles as soon as possible. When we first kicked off Bringing Back Broadway, the streetcar seemed like it would be the cherry on top of the sundae - something we would do much further down the road. But we now realize the powerful effect a streetcar system will have on economic development and revitalization of our entire downtown area. It’s clear we need to do this right away."

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A local delegation to Portland to study streetcars back in April proved to politicians and community members the positive economic benefits streetcars played, boosting some property values 300%. Cherry on top of the sundae no more, Huizar and others want to move up the opening date. “We intend to ride a streetcar downtown by 2014."