Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:39 am Post subject: Downtown L.A. Streetcar Makes Another Move Forward
Downtown L.A. Streetcar Makes Another Move Forward
José Huizar, Eli Broad, Rick Caruso, Tim Leiweke to co-host “Get On Board” fundraising event September 30, 2010
Released on: June 16, 2010, 3:36 am
LOS ANGELES, June 16, 2010— L.A. Streetcar, Inc. (LASI) today announced a powerhouse roster co-hosting a September 30 fundraiser at L.A. LIVE to benefit the Downtown L.A. Streetcar project. The cocktail reception fundraiser, themed “Get On Board,” is designed to promote efforts to advance a modern and environmentallyfriendly streetcar transportation system being developed for downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar will be joined by Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundations, Rick Caruso of Caruso Affiliated, and Tim Leiweke of AEG / L.A. LIVE. The co-hosts joined forces to highlight their belief in the economic, cultural, transportation and livability benefits a modern streetcar system will bring to downtown Los Angeles. The proposed streetcar route is approximately 4-miles in length, and would run 7-days a week, about 18 hours a day. It would serve areas including Bunker Hill, Grand Avenue and the Music Center, Historic Broadway and the Historic Core, South Park, L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“The streetcar will help create a better connected, pedestrian-oriented downtown, bringing jobs, economic development and revitalization all around the route. A more efficiently run and successful downtown is good for our entire City and the streetcar will help get us there,” said Huizar, who has championed the streetcar effort within the City and METRO through his Bringing Back Broadway initiative. “By having the streetcar go through areas that have already experienced the downtown renaissance – as well as those that have incredible potential but are still in need of a catalyst for revitalization – the streetcar will help downtown function as a complete, cohesive, neighborhood.”
Huizar is not alone in his convictions that a streetcar will catalyze revitalization downtown, and provide a muchneeded transportation circulation service. More than 40,000 people are estimated to live within the downtown area, with 550,000 people coming into the city each day for work and tourism.
“Downtown Los Angeles has many distinct districts including the sports-entertainment-convention district around L.A. LIVE and the cultural and civic district along Grand Avenue. A streetcar will connect these vibrant areas of our city center and will enable more people to easily visit them,” said Eli Broad. “We have a treasure trove of cultural riches in our region, and a streetcar will help visitors and residents alike enjoy all downtown Los Angeles has to offer.
“With the start of construction on the Grand Avenue Park this summer, there will even be more reasons for people to come downtown,” Broad said. “I’ve always said that no city is great without a vibrant center, and downtown is truly becoming an exciting core that will draw people from all over this region. The streetcar is a critical transportation option so families can get around downtown safely and easily.”
Downtown property owners, civic and business leaders agree, and formed L.A. Streetcar, Inc., a non-profit partnership dedicated to planning, designing and building the Downtown L.A. Streetcar system. The organization is based on models used by streetcar cities such as Seattle and Portland. In Portland, a $100-million public-private investment in their modern streetcar system is credited with catalyzing $2.3 billion in economic development and turning blighted areas into thriving urban centers, connected by the streetcar.
“The L.A. Streetcar would be another important enhancement to support our ever-increasing downtown community and infrastructure,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG / L.A. LIVE “Downtown businesses and attractions rely more and more each day on our public transportation system to bring residents and tourists to these popular destinations.”
Currently, it’s hard for residents to take full advantage of what downtown has to offer. "Some evening, try going from dinner at L.A. LIVE to a show at the Music Center or from a concert at the Orpheum Theatre to a late dinner on Bunker Hill" said Rick Caruso. "See what it takes to get around between destinations downtown and you'll understand exactly why we need to invest in a streetcar - not to mention what it will mean for the tens of thousands of people living downtown now, who need to access services like the California Hospital Medical Center or the only grocery store in the area. We can't afford not to do this."
A feasibility study for the streetcar project was completed in 2006 and the project is included in METRO’s Long Range Transportation Plan. The streetcar effort has been the recipient of federal appropriation funding for studies, and has submitted its development plans to secure a $25 million federal grant through the Urban Circulators program. CRA/LA has allocated $10 million to the project, and additional potential public funding sources, which would leverage private sector funding for the public-private partnership, include TIGER II grants and Small Starts funding. Environmental study is beginning, and proponents expect to have the Downtown L.A. Streetcar line engineered and ready for construction within 5 years.
Event co-hosts and L.A. Streetcar, Inc. supporters believe the Downtown L.A. Streetcar will not only be an important connection between L.A.’s other vital transportation systems and downtown neighborhoods but also an important stimulus for L.A.’s future economic growth. Project information, sponsorship and ticket information will be available at lastreetcar.org.
To learn more about the Downtown L.A. Streetcar, visit lastreetcar.org become a fan of L.A. Streetcar on Facebook and follow the project on Twitter.
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