August 23: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

Los Angeles Railway Division One. Central Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets (Click to enlarge)

1900:  The first air brake streetcars run out of Los Angeles Railways Division One, a technological advance for improved system safety. Division 1 opened on November 7, 1899 with ten tracks and a capacity of 210 streetcars. It is still in operation today as Metro Bus Operations Division One.

2001:  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors adopts a Universal Fare System.

The new program, marketed as “TAP,” hastens the day when passengers will be able to move seamlessly from one local transit carrier to another without the hassle of coping with a variety of cash fares, passes and fare media.

TAP will also reduce fare fraud which costs the agency between $5.5 million and $11.1 million annually.

Passengers will eventually carry credit-card sized proximity cards as fare media that could be recognized by local municipal bus operator fare boxes as well as the Metro system.