The City Council has abandoned a proposal to upgrade the $685-million Los Angeles-Long Beach light rail after council members found out that suggested modifications would increase the project's price by $450 million.
Councilwoman Jan Hall had requested that the city consider elevating the light rail to eliminate downtown traffic problems. Hall and other council members also had suggested that the city consider switching from the proposed light rail, which some council members have described as an outmoded trolley system, to an automated rapid transit system similar to the Vancouver, Canada, Sky Train.
But council members agreed last month that the $450 million additional cost for modifying the entire Los Angeles-Long Beach route is prohibitive. The increase was outlined in a $7,000 study done for the city by Transport Consulting Ltd. of Vancouver.
Council members, however, have asked city planners to consider a change in the proposed route to include a downtown traffic loop.