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Streetcar supporters return from Washington after rallying for federal funds

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 09:03AM
Courtesy of L.A. Streetcar Inc.

Streetcar advocates returned from Washington last week after rallying for federal funding for the DTLA project.

Streetcar supporters returned from Washington D.C. last week after meeting with Congress members and transportation leaders in an effort to help secure federal funding for the DTLA streetcar project.

“After this trip, I believe Washington D.C. knows that Los Angeles is fully committed to our streetcar project," said Councilman José Huizar in a statement. "Our significant local financial commitment – including secured funds for a 30-year operational plan and one-half of our construction costs – makes us one of the best candidates in the nation to receive federal funding.”

Los Angeles Streetcar Inc. along with Huizar will be applying for the Small Starts transit grant program. These grants are intended for "new fixed guideway systems, extensions, and bus corridor improvements."

According to a press release from Huizar's office, they were "strongly encouraged" to apply to the program and "work through the process of funding" with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Huizar will be submitting the grant application within the next two months.

Securing this grant would be the final big piece of funding that the streetcar needs. Last year Downtown voters passed a property tax to help fund half of the streetcar's $125 million budget. Then just a few weeks ago, the L.A. City Council approved a 30-year operational plan that commits them to cover operations and maintenance of the streetcar for the last three decades.

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