July 24: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1951:  California Governor Earl Warren signs a bill creating the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, the first publicly governed transportation planning agency for Los Angeles.

LAMTA streetcar and bus

LAMTA “P” streetcar and bus on Broadway at 11th Street in front of former Los Angeles Herald Examiner headquarters, February 20, 1963 (Click for more information)

It was empowered to formulate plans and policy for a publicly owned/operated mass rapid transit system that would replace the crumbling infrastructure of privately owned and operated systems.

The enabling legislation mandated that the Governor appoint the LAMTA’s seven member Board of Directors in consultation with local officials.

LAMTA logo

(Click to view the entire LAMTA digital image collection)

LAMTA was initially responsible for planning a new mass transit system to replace the aging remnants of transit systems built by Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway.

Sometimes referred to as “the first MTA,” it goes on to become a transit operator in 1958 after acquiring the passenger routes and assets of those two agencies’ successors:  Metropolitan Coach Lines and Los Angeles Transit Lines.

LAMTA is later superceded by the Southern California Rapid Transit District in 1964.