Metropolitan Coach Lines operated bus service in Los Angeles from 1953 to 1958 under the leadership of former Pacific Electric executive Jesse Haugh, with the goal of improving bus service and abandoning operation of rail transit. Pacific Electric sold its passenger rail cars and buses to Haugh on October 1, 1953 and gave MCL two years of rent-free usage of rail facilities.
MCL service began June 19, 1955. On August 3, 1954, MCL acquired Asbury Rapid Transit System, further expanding service.
OUR PRIMARY RESOURCES
Metropolitan Coach Lines company records: Our finding aid via Online Archive of California
Financial ledgers, labor contracts, equipment and facilities contracts, documents pertaining to the replacement of rail with motor coaches, service information, employee news magazines and other records comprising 3.44 linear feet, 9 boxes
Images: Metropolitan Coach Lines albums via Flickr
Film and video:
Metropolitan Coach Lines produced Los Angeles’ first “Metro” television commercials in 1956. These two 20-second spots played alternately on Monday evenings and Tuesday evenings during timeslots that featured The Rosemary Clooney Show, the Liberace Show the David Niven Show, and late-night news.
These commercials are perhaps the earliest primetime television advertising for transit. Additional information about the animation and how they were created can be found in this post as well as this article in the Metro Coach News employee news magazine.
Metropolitan Coach Lines key text resources
1954 February: Smith Emery Diesel Smog Report
1954 April: Metro Diesels Don’t Cause Smog
1944: Types of Passenger Cars