June 8: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

2000:  A groundbreaking ceremony is held by the newly formed Pasadena Light Rail Construction Authority to mark the beginning of construction of the 13.7-mile light-rail line (later known as the Metro Gold Line) that will run from Los Angeles Union Station to Sierra Madre Villa in East Pasadena.

MyMetro Employee News Article

The event takes place in Chinatown at the intersection of Alameda and College streets and kicks off the first leg of the route — construction of a $21 million elevated structure that will run approximately one mile from Los Angeles Union Station to just beyond Chinatown.

The event is held more than six years after the initial groundbreaking on April 8, 1994.  The project became stalled due to funding issues.

Los Angeles City Council Member Mike Hernandez, who also serves as Chair of the Pasadena Metro Blue Line Construction Authority Board of Directors, is joined by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and other Pasadena-area officials.

Others who are scheduled to attend include State Senator Adam Schiff (whose sponsorship of SB 1847 allowed the project to go forward), State Senator Richard Polanco,  Assemblyman Antonio Villaraigosa and State Secretary of Business Transportation and Housing Maria Contreras-Sweet.

The first phase of the “Pasadena Blue Line” will stop in Lincoln Heights, Highland Park, South Pasadena and Pasadena, in addition to Chinatown.

Thirteen new stations will be constructed along the initial route, six in Los Angeles, including the Chinatown stop, one station in South Pasadena and six stations in Pasadena, with a second phase to later reach Claremont.

The Metro Gold Line opens on July 23, 2003.


2004:  25 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses shuttle mourners twelve miles from the Moorpark College parking lot to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley for funeral services for the former President who passed away on June 5 at age 93.

The shuttles are able to transport 1,800 visitors per hour to the hilltop site.

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan hand wrote her personal thanks to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees for their support.

More information and photos from the days events can be found in the June 8, 2004 MyMetro employee news article.