August 24: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1976:  The California legislature passes Assembly Bill 1246 to create the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission.

The Commission (LACTC) was designed to oversee public transit (bus and rail, shuttles, dial-a-ride, paratransit) and highway policy in the nation’s largest county.

The legislation, drafted by Assemblyman Walter Ingalls, required LACTC to approve all plans and funding with respect to transit capital development, transit operations and highway capital development, just as it did in the transportation commissions created by the same bill in the adjacent counties of Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange.

The Commission’s authority over highways was ultimately subject to approval by the California State Transportation Commission.

The authority of LACTC was similar to that of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York or the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in Chicago, except that these organizations have little or no jurisdiction over highways. (New York MTA has control of East River and Long Island Sound bridges).

LACTC was merged with the Southern Calfornia Rapid Transit District in 1993 to form the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority.

The 13 member Board of Directors of the new LACTMA was similar in composition as the LACTC Board with mostly elected officials serving. The only change was dropping a member the Long Beach City Council, adding an additional City of L.A. appointee, and two more appointees made the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee.

LACTC is credited with the construction of the Metro Blue Line, Metro Green Line light rail lines and completing a portion of the heavy rail Metro Red Line ‘s construction just prior to the 1993 merger with the SCRTD.