Add Los Angeles to the list of cities looking to resurrect their former streetcars. The Red Line (pictured above operating on SF’s Muni) is seen as a pivotal part of LA’s multi billion dollar plan to resurrect the Broadway Theater District. The “Bring Back Broadway Initiative” aims to rebuild a downtown corridor once bustling with entertainment, nightlife, and shops.

Bringing Back Broadway will create a plan for a vibrant Broadway district that provides entertainment, eclectic cultural amenities and diverse retail options for Downtown residents and visitors to one of Los Angeles’ most remarkable historic areas, while serving as a central focus for revived downtown streetcar transportation.

An innovative aspect of this project is the involved financial participation of private investements along the corridor. Immediately parallels with Miami’s Flagler Street come to mind. A corridor once filled with life, shops, and bustling with activity, we can learn from Los Angeles by creating public/private partnerships to redevelop this critical downtown corridor.
Much more fundraising is left to be done if the ambitious effort is to be realized, and of paramount importance is getting all property owners involved in their share of the rehab. Standing outside the Los Angeles after the presentation, Michael Delijani pointed to the $1 million in yearly assessments collected by the Historic Downtown BID as a sign that owners would do their part. He told how improved cleaning and trash collection have already bettered the Broadway streetscape.

The map below depicts the once far reaching tracks of the former Pacific Electric lines in Los Angeles:

4 Responses to LA: Streetcars in the Planning

  1. serial catowner says:

    Uh, yeah, but the Big Red Cars were different from the PCC car pictured in your post. The Big Red Cars were tall interurban styled cars that ran in trains at 60-70 mph on a four-track mainline. They also did street running, but streetcars of the period were quite different in shape and function from the mainline business of the Pacific Electric system.

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  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Whoops…My Fault, Thanks for the correction…I guess I misread that one then…

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  3. JMD says:

    Well the PE did use PCC cars on the Glendale/Burbank line. They also tried them on the Venice line but the track was too rough at that point for them. After MTA took over they took on of the narrow gauge PCC Cars from the old Los Angeles Railway and used it on the Long Beach line. However, the cars were single ended and once again track was not in good shape.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that Los Angeles had, at one time, the largest rail transit system in the world? Like during the early part of the 20th century?

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