Thursday, January 08, 2015

Report: Private sector eyes LA streetcar

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Report: Private sector eyes LA streetcar Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc.

Amidst ongoing construction updates of light rail transit, Metrolink upgrades, and long-range preparation for high speed rail, the plentiful rail news streaming out of the Los Angeles basin often overshadows streetcar development. But one such project for Los Angeles proper continues to advance in slow increments.

A report from the LA Downtown News website says the private sector is being drawn to proposed 3.8-mile, $250 million project backed by L.A. Streetcar, Inc., an advocacy group, and supported by many city officials.

A statement released Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 by the office of City Councilman José Huizar, an early supporter of the streetcar project, claims 24 companies have responded to a Request for Information (RFI) involving a potential public-private partnership (3P) arrangement.

Los Angeles issued the RGI last September. A request for proposals (RFP) has yet to be issued.

"We knew there were possibilities in developing a public-private partnership for the L.A. Streetcar project, but two dozen firms responding at this early stage shows undeniably strong private sector interest in helping the City of Los Angeles achieve this regionally significant transportation project," Huizar's office said in a statement.

The project does have up to $85 million secured through a tax on property owners within a zone along the streetcar route, approved by a vote among those potentially affected. Project supporters anticipate securing up to $75 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), most likely through the Small Starts program, though possibly from FTA's New Starts program instead or in tandem.

Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif., both in nearby Orange County, also are exploring development of initial streetcar routes.

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