Going from enjoying some of the city’s best tacos to admiring world-class art will get a little easier, when Angels Flight, the historic funicular in downtown Los Angeles, reopened last week.
The two 116-year old iconic orange cars, Sinai and Olivet will resume their 298-foot journey up and down the 33-degree incline between Hill and Olive Streets in Bunker Hill. After shopping and lunch in Grand Central Market, visitors exploring Broadway can avoid the steep stairway up to California Plaza and enjoy an afternoon at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And you get the added perk of riding the picture-perfect funicular that once had a cameo in the movie La La Land among others.
Originally built in 1901 and touted as the world’s shortest incorporated railway, Angels Flight was a conventional funicular with both cars connected to the same haulage cable. Over the years it has been shuttered and reopened numerous times. In 1996 it was moved half a block south of its original location to its current home. In its most recent iteration, a group of engineering and transportation firms have agreed to maintain and operate the funicular footing the $5 million for necessary safety upgrades and a brand new coat of orange paint.
“At a moment when downtown is experiencing this resurgence, the timing couldn’t be better,” said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles at a news conference in March when it was announced the funicular would open by Labor Day. Rides take less than 50 seconds up hill and cost $1 each way.