Approaching transportation research: It’s all here at Metro’s library

RTD’s“Street Fleet” motorcoaches that carried beach-goers to Santa Monica in 1974 were painted to look like submarines.

RTD’s“Street Fleet” motorcoaches that carried beach-goers to Santa Monica in 1974 were painted to look like submarines.

June got off to a splashy start in 1974 when Metro’s predecessor agency Southern California Rapid Transit District launched its “Street Fleet” bus service to carry people to the Santa Monica beaches.

Summer beach riders were reminded that they were allowed to bring their surfboards directly onto the buses, writes Metro’s digital resources librarian Kenn Bicknell in the Primary Resources blog.

Even more revolutionary, a 1976 ballot initiative included bicycle and surfboard storage on board a limited number of rail cars of a proposed rapid transit system that would serve 43 cities in Los Angeles County.

Back to the future, Metro recently removed its peak-hour restrictions for bikes on rail in April, which means bicyclists can board the Metro Rail system any time of day.

Check it out at Primary Resources:  “Come Ride With Us” On The Rolling Submarines Of Los Angeles.

From rolling submarines to flying buses to volumes of digitized Environmental Impact Reports, the Metro Library is a great resource for local transportation history and also an impressive research facility for current resources.

The library’s Primary Resources blog has posted a primer on finding transit and transportation information, with step-by-step instructions for finding the information and data you want.

There is also a link to a webpage of current “up-to-the-minute” bibliographies on popular topics to jump start your research, as well as the new online library of key L.A. transit environmental impact reports from the last 40 years.

4 replies

  1. Did they really constructed a fake sail on top of that bus to make it look like a submarine?

  2. I’d encourage The Source to put a prominent link to the Metro Library’s excellent Transportation Headlines blog somewhere in The Source’s sidebar, and to put a link to the full Metro Library post in each The Source transportation headlines blog post.

    Casual readers of The Source may not have yet discovered the library’s EXCELLENT and ever-so-helpful news headlines blog.

    • Hi David;

      We’re presently working on some updates to our homepage to better steer readers to the library and other excellent resources.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source