Costs and Funding

THE DOWNTOWN LA STREETCAR HAS $394.3 MILLION IN COMMITTED LOCAL FUNDING: IN DECEMBER 2012, DOWNTOWN VOTERS APPROVED A $85 MILLION SPECIAL TAX; THE CITY HAS COMMITTED AN ADDITIONAL $14.3 MILLION IN PLANNING AND CAPITAL FUNDING FROM CRA, TFAR AND MEASURE R FUNDS; AND A 30-YEAR, $295 MILLION OPERATIONAL PLAN WAS APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL IN JANUARY 2013.

2017 — Capital Cost for 7th Street: $274.2 Million

In 2017, Kimley-Horn (K-H) contracted by the Bureau of Engineering prepared an updated independent cost estimate based on the preliminary engineering documents prepared by Mott MacDonald (MM), which estimated total project cost at $274.2 million (in 2020 dollars).  This cost estimate is based on the locally preferred alternative (LPA) route (7th Street Alignment without the Grand Ave extension) approved by the City Council.   The cost estimate has been escalated based on the completion of construction and start of service to the public in July 2021 using the CM/GC project delivery.  The MM and K-H have identified a number of potential cost reduction strategies ($20.9 Million) that the City will evaluate during design as project moves forward.

Click to view the latest Independent Cost Estimate Memo at 30% Design (June 14, 2017)

2015 — Capital Cost for 7th Street: $281.6 Million

In 2015, the Program Management team prepared an updated independent cost estimate, which estimated total project cost at $281.6 million (in 2019 dollars). This cost estimate included significantly more detail than the initial 2013 estimate, particularly with respect to anticipated utility relocation activities and costs. The City and Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc have committed to seeking a total project cost of $250 million or less; cost reduction strategies and value engineering opportunities are being evaluated in the preliminary engineering phase, which commenced in December 2015.

Click to view Program Manager's Independent Cost Estimate Update Memo at 5% Design (June 04, 2015)

2013 — Capital Cost Range for 7th Street: $232.3 to $327.8 Million

In 2013, an independent cost estimate was prepared for the Downtown LA Streetcar, including necessary estimates for cost escalation (inflation) and utility relocation costs. The 2013 estimate included utility relocation numbers prepared by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The total estimated project cost was $232.3 million to $327.8 million, depending on the level of utility relocation that would be required.

Prior to 2013 - Early cost estimates for the Downtown LA Streetcar were based on cost-per-mile estimates of other streetcar projects. Today's cost estimates are more refined and specific to this project.  

Funding Sources

Capital Funding

1. Community Facilities District (CFD): In 2012, a special tax through the creation of a Community Facilities District was approved by 73% of voters within the Downtown Streetcar area. The CFD will provide $85 million for project construction. 

2. FTA Small Starts Grant: The project is eligible to apply for an FTA Small Starts Grant, which could provide up to $100 million for capital costs. LADOT and LABOE are working closely with FTA to ensure the application process is successful.

3. Metro Measure M: In November 2016, LA County voters approved the Measure M transit funding ballot initiative with over 71% in favor. Measure M included $200 million (2015 dollars) for the Downtown LA Streetcar; however, these funds are allocated for 2053, so we are working with Metro to identify opportunities for advancing these funds so that they can help us achieve our opening date of 2021.

4. Funding to be Determined: Using the latest cost estimate of $290.7 million (including finance charges), there is a current funding gap of $91.4 million.  Two potential sources of funds to fill this gap are public-private partnership opportunities and funding through the Metro Measure M for transit projects approved by voters in 2016.

Operations Funding 

Commitment of $295 Million by LA City Council:  In 2013, the LA City Council approved $295 Million in funding from its Measure R Local Return fund to support the LA Streetcar operations costs for up to 30 years.

Planning and Project Development Funding 

To date, approximately $14.3 million has been dedicated to the project for conducting planning and other pre-design activities: $8.5 million from the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA), $3.3 million from Transfer of Floor-Area Rights (TFAR) payments, $1.5 million in local AB1290 funds, $1 million from Measure R local return, and $348,000 from the Federal Transit Administration.