July 1: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1874:  Los Angeles’ first rail public transportation line opens.  The horse-drawn rail trolley is known as the Spring & West Sixth Street Railway.

1891:  The first successful electric railway in Los Angeles begins operations.

General Sherman’s Belt Line Railway Company covers a circuitous route beginning at 2nd and Spring Streets.

It is the immediate predecessor to The Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway Company.

1937:  State, County and City officials join business groups of the Olympic Boulevard Improvement Association to celebrate the opening of Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles between Bronson Avenue and Rimpau Boulevard.

More details on the project can be found in the July, 1937 issue of California Highways and Public Works.

1940:  Los Angeles Motor Coach Company, jointly owned by Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway, establishes motor coach service to replace the Pacific Electric Railway Brentwood Line.

The new venture operates buses from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica via Wilshire Boulevard, San Vicente Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard, including “limited” and “express” service.

More information can be found in the July, 1940 issue of Pacific Electric Magazine.

1974:  Southern California Rapid Transit District releases a report on the Spring Street Contraflow Lane project which began operations six weeks earlier on May 19.

The findings include a 15% increase in bus speed time in the contraflow lane, with no significant delays, and 60% of riders believing the project moves them faster and 74% of them in favor of the operation.

More information can be found in the full-text July 1, 1974 Southern California Rapid Transit District’s Report on Spring Street Contraflow Lane.

1991:  As part of its integrated Metro System, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, Caltrans, and the California Highway Patrol officially inaugurate the Metro Freeway Service Patrol.

The special fleet of tow trucks swifty remove disabled cars from freeway lanes during prime commuting periods.

In the first two days of service, 359 stranded motorists are helped and their vehicles removed.

1996:  Metrolink staff separates from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.