January 17: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1994:  A magnitude 6.7 earthquake strikes Los Angeles at 4:31 a.m.  The quake, centered near Northridge in the San Fernando Valley, impacts transit and transportation across the region.

However, Metro achieves 94% service delivery on buses and Blue Line light rail on January 17 despite debris and closed streets, and accommodates many new commuters who take to public transit for the first time.

California Governor Pete Wilson later convenes an Emergency Transportation Relief Task Force, with LACMTA officials heading up two of the four subcommittees.

Full coverage of Metro’s response to the earthquake includes plans to restore and rebuild service can be found in the February, 1994 issue of the MTA News employee news magazine, the February, 1994 issue of Metro Moves employee news magazine, and the January 31, 1994 issue of the Metro CEO Report.

2003:  A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Metro Orange Line.

Originally known as the San Fernando Valley East-West Transitway, then later the Metro Rapidway, the bus line would open on October 29, 2005 to enormous popularity.

It runs from the North Hollywood Metro Station westward across the San Fernando Valley to Warner Center in Woodland Hills, following part of the Southern Pacific Railroad Burbank Branch Line which provided passenger rail service between 1904-1920 and was subsequently used by Pacific Electric Railway streetcars between 1938 and 1952.


More information can be found in the January 17, 2003 Metro Press Release and the 2003 Metro Short Range Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County Technical Document.

Additional photos from the Metro Orange Line groundbreaking can be found here.

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