At its meeting on June 7, the Glendale City Council is scheduled to consider a feasibility study outlining plans for a new streetcar line which would connect the city's Downtown core with its regional rail hub and other transit services.

Route alternativesHNTB

The Glendale Streetcar, which has been under study for a half-decade, would run along an alignment once served by the Pacific Electric Railway, and could eventually serve as a starter line for a system extending toward Burbank. The project would serve a roughly 2.6-square-mile area centered on Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue that is home to approximately 62,000 residents and 43,000 jobs.

A report from engineering firm HNTB focuses on two possible alignments for the streetcar line:

  • Alternative 1 - Central/Brand Loop -┬áBi-directional tracks would run north from the Glendale Transportation Center along Central Avenue to Lomita Avenue, after which point the streetcar would run on a single-track loop northbound on Central to Stock Street, where it would turn east. The alignment would then turn southbound on Brand Boulevard until returning to Lomita Avenue.
  • Alternative 2 - Central/Brand Two-Way - Starting at the Glendale Transportation Center running north with bi-directional tracks along Central Avenue, before veering east to Brand Boulevard toward a northern terminus at Stocker Street.

Rendering of potential station on Central Avenue near Laurel StreetStudio MLA

Both alternatives would run approximately three miles and feature a maintenance and storage facility adjacent to the southern terminus at the Glendale Transportation Center. Streetcars would run within the right-most through travel lane on city streets, with stops either placed in bulb-outs or integrated into the sidewalk.

Per the report, potential station locations for Alternative 1 include:

  1. Glendale Transportation Center (terminus)
  2. Central/San Fernando (northbound and southbound)
  3. Central/Chevy Chase (northbound and southbound)
  4. Central/Maple (northbound and southbound)
  5. Central/Americana (northbound) and Brand/Americana (southbound), between Americana
    and Broadway on each street
  6. Central/California (northbound) and Brand/California (southbound)
  7. Central/Doran (northbound) and Brand/Doran (southbound)
  8. Central/Arden (northbound) and Brand/Arden (southbound)
  9. Stocker (Eastbound)

Alternative 2 stops could include:

  1. Glendale Transportation Center (terminus)
  2. Central/San Fernando (northbound and southbound)
  3. Central/Chevy Chase (northbound and southbound)
  4. Central/Maple (northbound and southbound)
  5. Brand/Americana (northbound and southbound), between Americana and Broadway
  6. Brand/California (northbound and southbound)
  7. Brand/Doran (northbound and southbound)
  8. Brand/Arden (northbound and southbound)
  9. Brand/Stocker (terminus)

Rendering of potential station on Brand Boulevard near California AvenueStudio MLA

The study anticipates that the streetcar would run between 6 am and midnight between Monday and Friday and between 8 am and 9 pm on Sundays, with 10-minute daytime headways and 20-minute service intervals in the early morning and late night.

Weekday ridership forecasts for the loop alternative range between 1,400 and 1,800 passengers, while the two-way alternative is expected to attract between 1,500 and 2,00 passengers. End-to-end travel times would range between 35 minutes in off-peak hours to as much as 51 minutes during the evening rush hour. Both alternatives would connect with Metrolink trains at the Glendale Transit Center, as well as the forthcoming bus rapid transit line between North Hollywood and Pasadena.

Citing its ease of use and higher ridership potential, the HNTB report recommends that Alternative 2 should be selected for further planning.

Conceptual station layoutsStudio MLA

The report estimates that the total cost of the streetcar, including its construction budget, could exceed $495 million. Potential funding sources include Federal and State grants, as well as local tax revenue or sponsorship.

Pending approval of the project, and the availability of funding, construction of the streetcar would occur over 30 months and commence as early as 2026. That would allow the system to begin operating by 2028.

The Glendale project is one of a handful of streetcar lines in development in Southern California at the moment, including a similar system proposed for Downtown Los Angeles. In Orange County, Santa Ana has already commenced work on a four-mile streetcar line which will connect to its regional rail hub.