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Streetcar Added to Council's Transportation Sales Tax Motion

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at 09:30AM
Portland Streetcar Trip Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A delegation from Downtown stands outside the Portland Streetcar's maintenance facility in April.

On Friday, the City Council will consider a motion in support of Metro's proposed half-cent sales tax for transportation projects, and will submit to Metro a list of projects that it believes should be specifically named for funding. A late entry to the list is the Downtown streetcar, added at the urging of Councilman Jose Huizar.

Friday's motion, originally authored by Councilman Bill Rosendahl back in May, expresses support for Metro's tax efforts, saying that "there is a tremendous need for another long-term transportation funding source for transportation projects and programs in Los Angeles County."

The motion also listed projects that the city feels should receive funding from the generated revenues. The list read:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Metro should include the following projects in the list of funding recipients from a new half-cent sales tax: a Westside light rail connection to Los Angeles International Airport; an extension of the existing Metro Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport and cornmunities to the north; the Subway to the Sea; the Downtown Regional Connector; and a north/south extension of the Metro Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley.

Last week the Council's Rules & Government committee considered the item, and Huizar submitted a letter in support of adding the streetcar to that list. He noted that the line would complement other projects.

The benefits of a streetcar line, along with the opportunities to increase the ridership of planned and existing large-scale transit projects makes the Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar an excellent addition to the list of important transportation projects to be funded through the sales tax initiative.

The motion is Item 13 on Friday's Council agenda.


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