Division 1 (Central City)

Division 1 is the the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s oldest operating division.

It was originally opened by predecessor company, the Los Angeles Railway, on November 7, 1899 at 648 South Central Avenue.

It still exists at this location although the address has changed to 1130 East 6th Street.

In 1899 the division was equipped with ten (10) tracks capable of holding 210 street cars.

On August 23, 1900, the first street car ran out of Division One. In 1901, the division dispatched 99 regularly scheduled cars daily and 25 extras on Sundays for picnics and other weekend events. A workforce of 18 mechanics serviced the equipment.

By 1920, Division One had grown by 125 rail cars and 400 conductors and motormen.

In February of 1940, the following Los Angeles Railway lines were assigned and operated out of Division One: B, D, G, H, R, S, 2, 4,E, Gage, Indiana and Mateo (named lines were shuttle) streetcar lines. These lines operated a total of 563,928 route miles monthly.

The first emergency truck, No. 171 assigned to Division One in March of 1942.

On August 3, 1947, the first electric trolley coaches were assigned to Division One in conjunction with changeover from rail to trolley bus service.

Line 3 (formerly streetcar line 3) was the first line assigned trolley coaches. At this time, the division was equipped with approximately 125 rail cars, 40 trolley coaches and 250 conductors, motormen and operators. During 1948, Division One operated 2,630419 rail miles and 1,912,430 trolley coach miles – total service miles of 4,542,869.

In 1948 the B streetcar was converted to the number 2 trolley bus line. The Division had 110 trolley coaches and approximately 150 operators.

Rail service was discontinued from Division One in 1951. During 1959, the division operated 2,246,915 service miles.

In 1960, Division One had 84 trolley coaches and 121 operators assigned. On May 1960 Division One became a combination trolley/motor bus facility. In November 1960, a completely new administration building was completed on Sixth Street between Central Avenue and Alameda Street. September 10, 1961, the division operated motorbus lines 47 and 92, which were formerly operated out of Division 2. Due to this change, the Division increased in manpower from 121 operators to 188.

March 31, 1963 marked the last day of trolley bus service, after which all service was by motorbus.

A new transportation building was dedicated March 29, 1981.

New facilities, including methanol fueling stations, were opened July 11, 1987. Methanol/ethanol was later replaced by CNG as LACMTA’s preferred alternative fuel.

On November 8th, 1999, a 100th anniversary celebration took place. LACMTA CEO Julian Burke and Board member Tom LaBonge joined the Operations employees and retirees in marking the occasion.