Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Historic Angels Flight to reopen by Labor Day

An agreement has been reached to restore, operate, and maintain the railway for 30 years.

LOS ANGELES — Angels Flight, the iconic Downtown L.A. railway, will reopen to the public by Labor Day, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today.  

The world-renowned, 116-year-old funicular takes passengers on a scenic ride between Hill and Olive Streets on Bunker Hill. It will reopen after a three-year closure for a full-scale modernization with state-of-the-art safety upgrades made possible through a unique public-private partnership. Mayor Garcetti unveiled the modernization plans today alongside Councilmember José Huizar, the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, and a group of community leaders.

“Angels Flight is a cultural gem that tells an unforgettable story about the history of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Today, we celebrate the rebirth of this iconic attraction — and once the modernization is complete, we will welcome millions of visitors from around the world to experience it with us. ”  

Originally opened in 1901, Angels Flight — the world’s shortest railway — has given more than 100 million rides along its hillside track. It closed temporarily in 2013, but earlier this year, the California Public Utilities Commission certified a plan to upgrade Angels Flight to meet the highest safety standards.

The Angels Flight Railway Foundation and ACS Group finalized an agreement last week to recondition, operate, and maintain the funicular for the next 30 years.

“It is truly a historic day for one of Los Angeles’ most recognized treasures,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “It is our hope that this public-private partnership ensures the new Angel’s Flight will be safe, economically sustainable and — once again — a key City of Los Angeles cultural centerpiece for years to come.”

“We at Angels Flight Railway Foundation want to thank all the people who brought us to this grand moment,” said Adele Yellin, Chairperson of the Angels Flight Railway Foundation. “The first person I’d like to express our gratitude to Mayor Eric Garcetti, for facilitating this deal among ACS, Sener, and the Angels Flight Railway Foundation.”

In addition to being an iconic tourist attraction, the funicular will serve as an important transit connection between the Pershing Square Metro station and the top of Bunker Hill — an area that includes Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, MOCA, the Los Angeles Music Center, among other cultural institutions. As part of the agreement, Metro Tap Card holders will receive a 50% fare discount for the next three years.

"ACS, together with its contractor, Dragados USA, and its project partner Sener Engineering, is honored to be working with the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, and LA Metro, on this public-private partnership to recondition and operate and maintain the historic Angels Flight railway/funicular,” said Nuria Haltiwanger, CEO for ACS Infrastructure Development, Inc. “This project is not just about connecting people from the top and bottom of Bunker Hill.  It is about connecting Angelenos to the history of their vibrant City.  We look forward to the reopening of Angels Flight and to working together with the Foundation and City in the preservation and continuation of the Angels Flight legacy."

“Sometimes big things come in small packages. For the shortest railroad in the world, this is the first P3 transaction for Los Angeles,” said Geoffrey Yarema, a Partner at Nossaman LLP. “We are proud to have helped the Foundation find a private partner to  restore the classic glamour of this international icon and transform it into an essential element of 21st Century downtown mobility.  We believe the foundational elements of this deal structure can serve as a model for other facilities in Southern California and indeed around the globe.”