Visualize This: Modern Streetcar Service in Downtown Los Angeles


As part of an effort to bring a streetcar line to Downtown Los Angeles, two LA filmmakers produced this tidy little video. It extols the economic and social benefits of streetcar service, and provides nifty computer-generated visualizations of what modern streetcars might look like operating in downtown LA.

As an added bonus, the introduction to the video includes some nice historic footage of LA’s streetcar fleet before it was abandoned in 1963:


Here’s the complete video:


Comments: 7

  1. Someone should go door to door to the businesses on Geary st. and show them this video and help them see that light rail on Geary will be a substantial boost to their bottom line and give an overall enhancement to the neighborhoods surrounding Geary as well, along with the benefits for the environment by getting diesel busses off of a long and overcrowded line.

  2. Ha. Thirty seconds into the video, they “cheated” (upper right hand corner), using a shot of Muni’s No. 1052, painted in the 1937 LA Railway livery, instead of the real thing. Great video, though. First time I’d seen the newsreel footage of Shirley Temple dedicating the first PCC in LA. Knew she had done it — we’ve written it up on 1052’s information panels — but didn’t know it had been captured on film. Wish them all the best with this project in LA.

  3. LARy 3001, the streetcar that Ms. Temple helped introduce to the people of Los Angeles in 1937, is preserved in operating condition, often transporting visitors on the narrow-gauge “loop” at Orange Empire. It has even been repainted in the 1937 color scheme.
    (Good catch, Rick, I saw the video and didn’t notice that brief shot of 1052 on 11th St.)

  4. It’s pretty sad when Los Angeles seems progressive and San Francisco seems puritanical about avoiding new ideas. We’ve been moaning for almost three years about maybe building a BRT on Van Ness (a waste of money) while Los Angeles has inaugerated construction on the Expo LRV line to Santa Monica, and is now discussing a downtown streetcar line. The Blue line is already the single most heavily used rail transit line in the USA. San Francisco? Mayor Newsom’s best idea is to treat Muni operators like scum, an idea that has suddenly become popular amonng other of our politicians who are too lazy and short sighted to dedicate themselves to the City’s stagnant Transit First policy. Go Los Angeles!

  5. Hooray for Streetcars ! ! From Portland, lived in L.A. since 1990. Portland Streetcar is amazing. Has helped our apartment in N.W. Portland keep tenants and the home value high.
    Hopefully, Los Angeles will build the downtown circulator route. And, even more hopefully, purchase their streetcars from Oregon Iron Works. OIW has a working agreement with Skoda of Czech Republic to build in AMERICA ! Electrical from Skoda. The rest, over 70% American made !

  6. Forget the Central Subway, an overly expensive progect that, in my opinion as a native San Franciscan of 75 years, doesn’t seem to make any sense when evaluating the real transit needs of the city. Instead, use the money to build light rail out Geary to the Richmond, on Van Ness Ave from the Bay to Market Street and beyond, and another line somewhere South of Market into the Mission. Get rid of the BRT idea once and for all.

Comments are closed.