A decade of Metro milestones

The first decade of the 2000’s has been ripe with accomplishments for Metro and transportation improvements in Los Angeles County. What follows is a list of 30 notable achievements and moments in the past decade.

Some may be more important to you than others, but most hopefully show a measure of progress. And speaking of progress, whoever compiles this list in the last week of December 2019 should hopefully have a hard time just selecting 30 big moments.

If all goes as planned in the next decade — and because of steps taken this past decade — Wilshire Boulevard should gain a bus lane, single drivers will pay tolls to use the carpool lane on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways, the 405 will have a northbound carpool lane between the 10 and 101 freeways (construction begins in earnest Jan. 12), the regional connector will become reality, the subway will run to Fairfax, the Gold Line to Azusa, the Expo Line to Santa Monica, the Orange Line to Chatsworth and the Crenshaw Line to near LAX and connections with the Green Line. To name a few of Metro projects that are being studied or built.

Let us know what you think or if you have any other milestones you find noteworthy by emailing us at thesource@metro.net.

June 2000
Red Line extension to North Hollywood opens
The Red Line ventures from Hollywood into the San Fernando Valley — on time and on budget. Read the press release.
June 2000
Metro Rapid pilot program begins

Coinciding with the opening of the Red Line extension to North Hollywood, Metro begins Rapid service with two lines – the 720 and 750.
June 2000
1,000th Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus goes into service

Read the press release.
October 2001
Roger Snoble becomes CEO of Metro
In his seven-plus years on the job, Snoble continued to push the agency toward fiscal order. Read the press release.
November 2001
Hollywood & Highland transit-oriented retail and entertainment complex opens
Metro’s first joint development project becomes a transit-oriented agent of change in Hollywood. Read the press release.
November 2001
Blue Line platforms extended to accommodate 3-car trains due to popularity
Read the press release.
February 2002
Metro restructures operations to a community-based service sector model. Citizens and local officials are given much more say in how the bus system is run. Some of those changes are now being eliminated due to budget woes, but local input will remain. Read the press release.
June 2003
Metro updates its look with colorful buses

Metro’s new Design Studio gives the fleet personality and L.A. streets some color. Read the press release.
July 2003
Metro opens Gold Line to Pasadena
The Gold Line expands Los Angeles’ rail system to 73.1 miles. Read the press release.
October 2003
Labor strike disrupts service
This was the last strike in the 2000’s. Read the press release.
January 2004
Metro officially becomes “Metro” with new logo
The Design Studio makes branding a priority at Metro. Read the press release.
January 2004
Metro introduces Day Pass
In 2004 the new unlimited ride Day Pass was $3. They’re now $5.
April 2004
Affordable transit-oriented housing development opens at Hollywood/Western Red Line station
Read the press release.
Summer 2004
Metro bus fleet becomes “smart” with installation of ATMS
Learn more about Metro’s Advanced Transportation Management System.
April 2005
Metro introduces 2,000th CNG bus to the fleet
1,000 more clean air buses in five years. Read the press release.
June 2005
Metro buses get Transit TV
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these little TV’s became part of Metro in the 2000’s. Read the press release.
June 2005
Metro Rapid program reaches half-way point
Fairfax Line 717 and Beverely Line 714 are the 13th and 14th Rapid lines. Read the press release.
October 2005
Orange Line busway opens
“The Valley’s new shortcut” is a bus that acts like a train. Read the press release.
June 2006
Metro wins 2006 Outstanding Public Transportation System award from American Public Transportation Assn.
Results in “America’s Best” stickers on every bus and train in sight. Read the press release.
September 2006
Expo Line construction begins

With the Gold Line Extension to East L.A. already under construction, a second rail line breaks ground and rail transit comes a bit closer to reality for Westsiders. It now appears the line to Culver City will open in 2011 or 2012. Read the press release.
August 2007
New Transit Passenger Information System (TPIS) Displays arrive in Red Line Stations
November 2008
Los Angeles voters pass Measure R
A supermajority of voters passed a half-cent sales tax to fund transporation improvements in L.A. for the next 30 years, including the extension of the subway and numerous light rail lines. Read the press release.
November 2008
Local businesses raise money to provide late night Red Line service during holiday weekends
The move demonstrates that local businesses realize not all their customers are driving. Read the press release.
March 2009
TAP cards replace paper Day Passes as new fare system goes public
The system is admittedly a work-in-progress. Read the press release.
March 2009
Art Leahy becomes CEO of Metro

Roger Snoble announced his retirement in late 2008 and the Metro Board of Directors quickly chooses Leahy, a former Metro bus driver and the chief of OCTA in Orange County, to run the show. Read the press release.
June 2009
Metro releases transit data to public
Read the press release.
July 2009
Metro teams up with Google to provide trip planning
Metro riders collectively rejoice.
Read the press release.
August 2009
Metro begins installing turnstiles at rail stations
Read the press release.
November 2009
Gold Line Eastside Extension opens
Metro’s rail system gets eight more stations, this time in East L.A. Read the press release.
December 2009
Silver Line bus rapid transit service begins
Read the press release.