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$62.5 Million Streetcar Project Approved by Voters

Seventy-three percent of voters approved funding for streetcar construction in Downtown L.A.

Voter turnout surpassed expectations Monday when L.A. voters decided to approve local funding for streetcar construction.

(Streetcar LA)
(Streetcar LA)

Seventy-three percent of voters supported the $62.5 million project. Of the 2,066 ballots cast in the mail-only election, 1,508 approved the measure.There was a 19.4 percent voter turnout.

Councilman Jose Huizar and other streetcar advocates were pleased with the high turn out. Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway initiative promotes the downtown streetcar effort.

"I want to thank the voters of downtown Los Angeles for supporting this effort and recognizing the huge impact the streetcar will have on transit connectivity and revitalization in the downtown area," said Huizar. "Now that the people have spoken, Los Angeles is well on its way to bringing a modern streetcar back to downtown Los Angeles."

Election records in localized elections such as some school boards and community college turnout have been less than 10 percent. Ballots were sent to registered voters within the streetcar voting district by the city clerk on November 13. The district includes approximately three blocks around the streetcar route. Ballots had to be returned by December 3.

"With this critically important local funding approved, we will now work closely with our Washington D.C. Representatives to advocate for the federal funding needed for construction," explained Huizar.

"We've earned great support from property owners who will be paying the tax and who understand the benefits the streetcar will bring. But the final decision on this critical funding was up to the registered voters," said Shiraz Tangri, the General Counsel for LASI, a non-profit coalition of property owners civic and business leaders formed to support the downtown streetcart effort.

A special tax will be placed on land owned by all downtown private property owners within the district. The amount depends on the location from the proposed streetcar line.

According to AECOM, downtown L.A. Streetcar will bring in $24.5 million in additional annual tourism spending, $1.1 billion in additional development downtown and $47 million in additional revenues to Los angeles over 25 years. It will also provide more than 9,000 jobs.

Other cities in North American are also planning streetcar systems. Some cities include Atlanta, Boise, Charlotee, Cincinnati and Washington DC.

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