A peek at what the downtown L.A. streetcar could look like

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Los Angeles Streetcar Inc. (LASI), the non-profit public/private partnership working to bring a 4-mile streetcar line to downtown L.A., released the above video last Thursday at a fundraising event that raised over $200,000.

The money raised on Thursday is just a small drop in the bucket for the proposed project – its estimated cost is $100-million.

The video – which overlays computer generated streetcars over downtown’s existing streets – along with the fundraiser is aimed at raising awareness and enthusiasm for the project locally, with the goal of getting local properties owners on board with the public/private project.

According to the L.A. Downtown News, local property owners could be expected to fund a significant portion of the costs – from 40%-60% through a funding mechanism known as a Special Assessment District. The idea is that, if built, the streetcar would bring hoards of tourists and locals (and their cash) to to the businesses who that helped fund it. This has worked in Portland and Seattle and LASI thinks it can work in L.A.

The exact route has not been determined, but two options being looked at would link the streetcar to three Metro Rail stations in downtown – Civic Center Station (Red/Purple Line), Pershing Square Station (Red/Purple Line) and Pico Station (Blue/Expo Line).