July 3: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1873:  The Los Angeles City Council approves the first franchise ordinance, applied for the day prior, which read as follows:

“An ordinance granting franchise to D. V. Waldron and provided for a franchise for the period of five years, for the purpose of laying down and maintaining two iron railroad tracks and to run cars thereon, to be propelled by horses or mules, and to carry passengers thereon, commencing at a point on North Main Street at Alameda Street south on Main Street to the City limits, which was a point just south of the present corner of Jefferson and Main.”

1950:  The last day of service for Pacific Electric Railway‘s Newport-Balboa line.

Two-car Pacific Electric train en route to Newport Beach pauses at Redondo Avenue (East Long Beach), August 18, 1948 (Click for more information)

The line was opened to Huntington Beach on June 17, 1904; to Newport Beach on August 5, 1905; to East Newport on May 13, 1906; and to Balboa on July 4, 1906.

The line followed the Long Beach Line to North Long Beach, then went down the coast to Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Balboa, nearly 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Balboa Island owes its popularity to Pacific Electric.  Balboa was just a sandy peninsula until Pacific Electric extended to the town site. Steady growth thereafter until Balboa surpassed Newport Beach as a favorite spot for holiday seekers.

Motor coaches from another operator connected at Newport Beach to take passengers to Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

Its peak year of service was 1914, when 758,621 passengers boarded.