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

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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 in regarding reef creation from NY MTA subway cars.

Now, new information has come to light discussing local efforts to repurpose abandoned rail cars.

We wanted to point to newly discovered information from the California Department of Fish and Game via Calisphere, the University of California’s free public gateway to more than 200,000 digitized photographs, documents, articles, cartoons, works of art and other resources.

The Department’s Fish Bulletin 124 published in 1964 is titled “Artificial Habitat in the Marine Environment.”

Some of the photos contained therein are worth a look.

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Thanks to the Boing Boing blog and a couple of transit and history fans in San Francisco for leading us down this path to follow up on this recent story, although the inaccuracy of the post’s comments is disheartening.

The conspiracy theory known as “The Great American Streetcar Scandal” or “The National City Lines Conspiracy” is mostly untrue.

It should be remembered that the demise of the streetcars had much more to do with declining revenues and the privately run transit companies’ inability to repair and replace infrastructure when relying solely on farebox revenue as a source of income.

Government subsidies and tax revenue were not part of the equation until much later.