|Los Angeles had the finest public transportation system in the world|
until the government tore it out in order to spend money on buses.
- The bankrupt city of L.A. wants to spend $125 million on a new streetcar that will travel only four miles.
- New taxes would be placed on property owners.
Downtown Los Angeles voters have approved a streetcar funding measure aimed at helping the city get people out of their cars.
In a special election, voters supported creation of a tax-assessment district to raise as much as $85 million of the $125 million needed to build a 4-mile trolley loop.
The tax would only be levied on property owners if the project passes an environmental review and receives matching federal funds.
If approved, it could be running by 2015 and would link the Civic Center and far-flung destinations such as Staples Center arena, Disney Hall and the fashion district.
It would run mainly along Broadway, Hill and Figueroa streets. Proponents believe it could see 10,000 riders a day.
The area is already served by buses, shuttles and light-rail lines, but residents say it's still hard to get around. Civic boosters see public transit as one key in restoring the luster of an area that was a thriving center decades ago for dining, theater and shopping.
The last streetcar trundled along downtown streets in 1963 before being supplanted in popularity by more flexible choices provided by cars and freeways.
Read more: San Francisco Chronicle