When The Streetcars Return

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On the Left: An old streetcar from the Pacific Electric Railway, On the Right: A new streetcar from Washington, D.C.

If all goes according to plan, streetcars will return to Downtown Los Angeles in four years. But, what will they look like?

I’ve argued before that they should be historic replicas of the Red and Yellow Cars that used to traverse this city when it boasted the largest street railway system in the world. I championed a streetcar that would complement the architecture of our city’s Historic Core instead of mimicking trains you would find in Portland or Seattle or Whereverville. One that says Los Angeles.

That is most likely not going to happen. But, what about a compromise?

The new D.C. streetcars were just unveiled this past December. They already bear a slight resemblance of Big Red. Perhaps L.A.’s newest streetcar could at least pay homage to the past with a clever paint scheme.