Report: Staffers kept mum on LA streetcar problems

This is a rendering of the streetcar planned for downtown Los Angeles.
This is a rendering of the streetcar planned for downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Streetcar Inc

An investigation finds Los Angeles City Hall staffers kept mum about concerns that the cost estimate for reviving downtown's streetcar system was not detailed and the price tag could balloon.

The Los Angeles Times cites records that show aides to Councilman Jose Huizar were reluctant to incorporate higher estimates into public discussions, partly because of concerns they could slow the streetcar's progress.

Officials recently announced that cost estimates have more than doubled, to as much as $327 million.

Huizar's chief of staff, Paul Habib, explains that earlier not enough engineering work had been done to move beyond "guesstimates."

When downtown voters agreed last winter to bring back the Los Angeles streetcar, they were pitched a $125 million plan, with funding split between federal grants and a new property tax.
 

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