January 7: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1950:  Pacific Electric Railway begins one-man streetcar service on its Glendale-Burbank Line.

Although the one-man operations was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission several months prior, inauguration of the service is withheld pending conversion of 47 cars for one-man operation.

More information can be found in the January-February, 1950 issue of Pacific Electric Magazine.



1963:  C.M. Gilliss, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority delivers a speech at the downtown Statler Hilton Hotel describing his concept for the future of transportation in Los Angeles, including an “individually coded credit card” shown to a “magic-eye fare computer,” admitting him through a turnstile to the train platform.

Proposed rapid transit rail car, 1963. Note the 60s-era tail fins and “Cen. City” destination sign (Click for more information)

This early vision of machine-readable fare media, such as today’s TAP Card, is just one of several proposals outlined in his address.

His remarkable speech, which can be read in full here, is part of the ceremony unveiling the “Rapid Transit…A Reality” document proposing yet another in a long line of transit plans for Los Angeles.

It included 58 miles of rail service from downtown north to North Hollywood, east to El Monte, south to Long Beach and west to Westwood…all by January, 1968 (map)