Updated: 8:20 a.m.: The next community meeting for the rapidly-progressing Downtown Streetcar--not the Regional Connector Downtown subway, that's something different--will be held a week from Thursday and yesterday Metro released a "briefing package" on the current alternatives being studied, reports The Source. Metro is down to seven possible routes, all traveling from South Park up north to Bunker Hill (or vice versa), with two hitting Union Station (none of the routes cross the tracks for the Blue and Expo lines now--Metro has to be careful so that all its new trains don't crash into each other). Metro has already calculated ridership and cost figures for each route and, according to their findings, one appears to rise to the top. Route #7--traveling from Staples Center up Figueroa, turning right on Seventh, moving north on Hill, taking an eastern turn on First, quickly moving south on Broadway all the way to Eleventh, and taking a right to head back to LA Live--has
the highest boardings relatively high boardings per mile, the smallest construction cost of all options ($106.7 million), low operating costs, relatively easy design, and minimal environmental impacts.
The one criteria that didn't play out great for #7 was redevelopment possibilities, as alternatives running on Pico have more "economic development potential" than those running on Eleventh, at least according to Metro. They seem right about this one as parts of Eleventh have already been developed (e.g. the South Group-developed buildings), with only a couple empty lots available along the route. The stretch of Pico, meanwhile, is a mostly-barren no man's land.
The options that run to Union Station would get more riders than #7 since they're longer routes, but #7 would actually have more boardings per mile. Getting to Union Station would also cost more (about $134 million) and there will be a transferless underground connection from South Park to Union Station when the Regional Connector opens around 2018 anyway.
The community meeting takes place a week from Thursday at Caltrans headquarters at 5:30 pm. A final route will be chosen in the late winter, according to Metro.
· Downtown Streetcar Alternatives Released [The Source]
· Downtown Streetcar Archives [Curbed LA]