Category: L.A. Transit & Transportation History

L.A. Transit & Transportation History

Movin’ On Up To Incomplete Streets: “Ultimate Traffic Relief” Through The 1946 Elevated Sidewalks Proposal For Los Angeles

  How do you solve traffic congestion downtown? By removing pedestrians, of course! In our never-ending quest to collect, organize and provide access to Los Angeles’ historic traffic proposals, we have repeatedly run into some eye-popping proposals worthy of a…

Streetcar In The Sea Update: More About The 1950s “Transit Reefs” Of Los Angeles

Back in May, we wrote about old Los Angeles Transit Lines streetcars being dumped off the coast of Redondo Beach to create artificial reefs. That post was inspired by photo essays in the New York Times and other publications published…

60 Years Ago This Week: Los Angeles Gets Its First Publicly-Governed Transportation Planning Agency

A few days ago, we marked an important milestone in Los Angeles’ transit and transportation history. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA) was formed as the city’s first publicly-run transit planning agency by the State of California on July 24, 1951. Sometimes referred…

Decorated Cable Cars Of 1892 & Other Notable 4th Of July Anniversaries From Early Los Angeles Transit History

The upcoming holiday prompted us to share this rarely-seen image of a Los Angeles cable car decked out for the 4th of July, 1892. When you think about it, the photograph was taken nearly midway between the founding of the…

Rail Rapid Transit Now!: Early Freeways, “Bus Rapid Transit” & The Competing Transportation Plans Of 1948

One hundred years ago, the first traffic study of Los Angeles was published. Bion J. Arnold explained “The Traffic Problem Of Los Angeles” in the November 4, 1911 issue of The California Outlook: A Progressive Weekly. In subsequent years, congestion…

L.A. Transit Paintjobs Of The Past: King Tut, Disneyland & Other Notable Livery

If you’ve been dipping into our extensive Flickr online photo collection or reading about it elsewhere, you may know that it now holds well over 7,500 images. As we add to this growing repository of the past, present and future of Southern California transit…

Creating Pacific Coast Highway And Other Landmark Projects From 1924: Metro Library’s New Collection Of Historic California Highway Commission Documents

We have embarked on an exciting new project this year, one that is already yielding fascinating insights into local transportation history. Metro’s Transportation Library & Archive has entered into an arrangement with Occidental College Library to digitize their complete collection of California…

“Come Ride With Us” On The Rolling Submarines Of Los Angeles: SCRTD’s 1974 “Street Fleet” Beach Bus Service

  (Promotional video for RTD’s “Street Fleet” bus service, 1974) Memorial Day has come and gone, and while the weather this week doesn’t make it feel like Summer, June means schools are closing and Angelenos will soon begin flocking to Southland…

Before “Subway To The Sea,” There Was “Streetcar In The Sea”: Creating Artificial Reefs Off The Los Angeles Coast In 1959

The recent photo essays in the New York Times and Fast Company featuring stunning photos of NY MTA subway cars being dumped into the sea inspired us to tell our own similar story from half a century ago. The July,…

50 Years Ago This Week: Planning The El Monte – Century City Backbone Route (Complete With Nuclear Fallout Shelters, Large-Capacity Helicopters And A Beverly Hills Subway)

In May of 1961, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority unveiled its plans for the Backbone Route — the 22.7-mile-long first leg of yet another rapid transit proposal for Los Angeles. After Wilshire Corridor stakeholders squelched the idea for a Los Angeles monorail system…