Thursday, March 07, 2013

LA City Council OKs streetcar funds

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LA City Council OKs streetcar funds LA Streetcar

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted to approve up to $352 million in operating funds for a proposed streetcar linking the city's Civic Center and its Convention Center, as well as several neighborhoods.

The funding package would cover operations and maintenance for roughly 30 years, supporters of the proposal said.

"We are rapidly moving from a city that focuses on how many cars we can move to one that asks how many people we can move, and what are the best ways to do that," said Councilman Jose Huizar in a statement; Huizar sponsored the motion.

Funding will be drawn from Measure R, the 2008 ballot measure that added a half-cent sales tax to fund county transportation projects, officials said. Construction costs are estimated at $125 million.

A supermajority of voters last December approved a measure to create an assessment district to help finance the project, with expectations of generating $62.5 million in local funding, or half of the capital cost. Huizar is scheduled to visit federal officials in Washington, D.C., next week, to seek up to $75 million in federal funding for the project.