June 13: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1991: Groundbreaking for Metro Red Line (later, Purple Line) Segment 2 takes place at Wilshire/Western at the site of the future subway station.

UMTA Taylor

Urban Mass Transportation Administration regional administrator Stewart Taylor speaks at Metro Red Line groundbreaking, flanked by Los Angeles Transportation Commission Executive Director Neil Peterson and Travis the Owl (LACTC School Safety Program mascot)

At the ceremony, Los Angeles County Transportation Commission Executive Director Neil Peterson notes that:

“We don’t expect everyone living in Los Angeles County to find it convenient to use mass transportation, but we’re building enough varied systems over the next 30 years to provide practical alternatives to many who want out of the madness driving on L.A.’s congested freeways.”

While the Metro Blue Line had opened less than a year earlier, it was already enjoying more than 31,000 daily riders as the Metro Red Line was developing into the backbone for the planned 300-mile rail transit system.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley explains that:

“Today’s ceremony marks the beginning of the Metro Red Line’s extension to Hollywood and eventually to the San Fernando Valley.  Public transportation connecting major cities in the Los Angeles basin is becoming a reality.”

Also at the ceremony, Urban Mass Transit Administration Regional Administrator Stewart Taylor proclaims that:

“The Los Angeles region is becoming a recognized leader in terms of building and innovative, multi-modal transit system with strong, local financial commitment. The federal government recognizes the local support, and has almost matched the local funding commitment by contributing 46% to this construction project.”

And the manager of the Wiltern Theater across the street from the future Wilshire/Western Station proposes that:

“We’re looking beyond the temporary inconvenience to the future day when Los Angeles citizens will be able to attend a live theater performance and ride home on a Metro Train.  The face of Los Angeles is changing, and we are very excited that the Wiltern Theater is a stop on the Metro map.”