Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc. (LASI) – the non-profit/private partnership modeled after successful Portland and Seattle transportation projects – has released an independently-produced report describing the streetcar’s regional economic benefits far exceeding initial expectations
(Los Angeles, CA. – October 7, 2014) Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc. (LASI) – the non-profit/private partnership modeled after successful Portland and Seattle transportation projects – has released an independently-produced report describing the streetcar’s regional economic benefits far exceeding initial expectations.
In an economic analysis touting the Los Angeles Streetcar’s role in improving Downtown mobility, international consulting firm AECOM projected the creation of 26,000 new local jobs for residents throughout the Los Angeles region, $1.6 billion in new development, and $303 million in new tax revenue to the City, County and State over the 30 years following construction of the streetcar – above and beyond growth expectations without the Los Angeles Streetcar. NOTE: Shouldn’t we point out that these are higher than the earlier study, which was already pretty good? These latest AECOM projections are higher than a 200XX AECOM Streetcar study, suggesting that economic development opportunities around the streetcar are growing as the project moves forward.
“The Los Angeles Streetcar will return its investment many times over with $1.6 billion in development, the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for Angelenos throughout the region and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue benefiting the City, County and State." said Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar who champions the streetcar project within the City. "Downtown is more than its 50,000 residents, and 500,000 workers. Downtown is the economic engine for our entire region, and the streetcar's benefits will have just as wide and important a reach."
The AECOM study cites other Streetcar benefits including bringing together residential, business, and entertainment districts of Downtown L.A. by connecting many of its most popular destinations; integrating with regional rail and bus lines to provide better connections to job centers and housing; and promoting sustainable, walkable development that emphasizes pedestrian mobility. AECOM also finds the streetcar will boost tourism, convention and hotel use.
The study was released in tandem with an Independent Cost Estimate by the consulting firm URS Corp., hired by the City of Los Angeles as Project Manager for the project with tasks including the refinement of cost projections for the Streetcar’s four-mile route. The $274 million URS projection (in 2018 dollars) is already $50 million less than an estimate released last year by the City and does not yet represent additional cost savings measures project leaders expect will be achieved. The project has more than $350 million in place to pay for construction and operation of the system for 30 years. The remainder of construction funding will be sought from state and federal grants, the FTA Small Starts program and an innovative public-private partnership known as a DBOFM, to Design, Build, Operate, Finance and Maintain the streetcar.
“We’re thrilled with the results of this AECOM study which shows definitively what we have always thought would be true,” said Steve Needleman, LASI chairman. “The Los Angeles Streetcar is moving forward and will not only be a great boon for Downtown but will have impacts throughout the region and the state in terms of job creation, revitalization and support for city services, tourism and other revenues.”
“Finally L.A. is on its way to being much more than just a city of cars. The Streetcar will integrate with regional and local mobility options of all kinds. It’s the next step along the path to a more connected, sustainable, and productive Los Angeles.”
LASI was founded by long-time Los Angeles property owners, civic and business leaders in January 2009 to lead the fundraising and development efforts of the streetcar project. LASI was the successful proponent of a $62.5M voter-approved tax measure for the Streetcar. As the representative of the private sector interests and investment in the Streetcar project, LASI is a partner with the City through all required planning, environmental, engineering, and development processes. LASI is supported by a board of directors that represents the diversity of interests in Los Angeles.