December 8: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1873:  Los Angeles Mayor J.R. Toberman approves a franchise for a street railway to R.M. Widney for a period of twenty years.

The proposed streetcar project would commence at Temple and Spring Streets, and along Spring to First; First to Fort Street, (now Broadway); Fort Street to Fourth Street, Fourth to Hill Street, on Hill to Fifth Street; on Fifth to Olive Street; on Olive to Sixth Street; and thence along Sixth Street to Figueroa Street.

The fare was set at ten cents.

This franchise also provided that in the event D. V. Waldron, to whom the first franchise was issued, should forfeit his rights, then the Widney franchise would extend from Temple and Spring Streets via Main to Alameda Street.

Waldron forfeited his rights, therefore, Widney’s franchise was extended.

Widney assigned his franchise to a company known as the Spring And Sixth Street Railroad Company and this company completed the line and put it in operation in the spring of 1874.

Pacific Electric’s San Pedro via Dominguez Line at Dominguez Junction on last day of service, December 7, 1958 (Click to enlarge)

1958:  The last day of operations for Pacific Electric‘s San Pedro via Dominguez Line.

The 25.39-mile long line followed the same route as the Long Beach Line south through Watts and Compton to Dominguez Junction.

From that point south it passed through a rather sparsely populated area to Wilmington.

The Line was born on July 2, 1902 when Pacific Electric began engineering surveys and started acquiring the right-of-way.

On January 12, 1904, the project was turned over to the Los Angeles Interurban Railway.

The San Pedro Line survived Pacific Electric and Metropolitan Coach Lines ownership only to fall victim to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, which ordered the rail service to give way to buses.

(Click to enlarge)

1979:  The Southern California Rapid Transit District launches Hollywood Star Shuttle Service.

Shuttle buses carrying passengers between the Hollywood Bowl’s parking lots and businesses in Hollywood are easily recognized by special paint scheme and colorful banners in front of each bus.

The service debuted December 8, 1979 — offered seven days a week between 10 a.m. and midnight, servicing 20 stops along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.

The seven-month pilot project through June, 1980 has costs covered by $281,000 in funds from the City of Los Angeles.

SCRTD Board Member George Takei remarks during the dedication ceremonies that:

“The Star Shuttle has long been a drea mof the Hollywood community.  The cooperative spirit among the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the Hollywood Revitalization Committee, the Los Angeles City Council, councilwoman Peggy Stevenson (in whose district the service runs) and the District helped make the Star Shuttle a reality.”

Additional information about the Star Shuttle can be found in the January, 1980 issue of Headway, the SCRTD employee newsmagazine.

(Click for more information)