Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 7: art of transit, downtown streetcar secures operating funds, new housing in Santa Monica

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

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ART OF TRANSIT: A Metrolink train at Union Station with Metro HQ in the background. Photo by Rayala, via Twitter.

Los Angeles City Council approves operating funds for downtown streetcar (City of L.A. website, Item 18) 

The Council voted on Wednesday to use $352.4 million of Measure R local return funds — the 15 percent of  Measure R that goes back to cities on a per capita basis — to pay for operating a downtown Los Angeles streetcar from the years 2017 to 2046. That assumes, of course, the project is built. Downtown residents last November voted to tax themselves to fund half the cost of the project with the remainder of the money being sought from a federal government grant. The cost of the project is expected to be $125 million.

Long isolated behind a freeway, Santa Monica’s Civic Center rejoins its city (New York Times) 

A good look at two big projects to help remake the Civic Center with a new public park and a large residential development that includes market-rate condos and income-restricted apartments. The developer, Related, has joined with the nonprofit Community Corporation of Santa Monica to build the apartments, which will be available by a lottery that gives preference to those who work or live in Santa Monica. The building is not a small one — but it is a very short to the future Expo Line station at 4th/Colorado and perhaps it’s a model for building other needed housing in the area.

Los Angeles intends to bid for 2024 Summer Olympics (ESPN)

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter this week to the United States Olympic Committee saying that L.A. intends to compete to host its third summer games, having had the honors in 1932 and 1984. From a transit standpoint, the second phase of the Expo Line, the Gold Line Foothill Extension, the Regional Connector, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the first phase of the Westside Subway Extension are scheduled to be open by then. But there’s this: some type of transit to LAX is currently on a schedule to be completed in 2028 and I imagine that’s something the USOC would consider with so many people coming to town. Here’s a recent Metro staff report on possible ways to accelerate the project.

Glendora Council approves new mixed-use development near potential future Gold Line station (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

The plan is for the development to have 256 new apartments and 4,000 feet of commercial real estate space at the intersection of Glendora Avenue and Route 66. That would put the station close to the planned Glendora station at Vermont Avenue on the second and thus far unfunded phase of the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The first phase is under construction and will run for 11.5 miles from eastern Pasadena to a station just north of Citrus College on the Azusa/Glendora border.

4 replies

  1. I truly believe that once that streetcar goes online, there will be neighborhoods and communities all over Southern California wanting their own.

    • Hi Matt;

      Thanks for catching that. Hey — I just assumed readers know that no number can be printed about transportation with the following word being “million” or “billion.”

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Yeah, Pasadena will obviously want one going down Colorado or one of the other parallel main arteries (Green? Walnut?).

    Arcadia might want one for taking its Gold Line riders from the station to busier destinations on Huntington and/or Duarte Rd.

    And so on.

    Make it cheaper than a riding a real bus and it will attract plenty of local and visiting riders.