Looking back at the Los Angeles mini-bus: the DASH predecessor rolled out 40 years ago this week

SCRTD Board Member (and Star Trek star) George Takei joins LA City Councilman Gilbert Lindsay at the Mini-Bus launch in 1971

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation DASH system logs 7 million passenger trips per year on five different lines downtown and another 27 throughout the city.

This innovative service got its start forty years ago this week when the Southern California Rapid Transit District launched a proto-DASH service under the name “Mini-Bus.”

It featured small buses with distinctive canopy tops, perimeter seating, and an orange-brown-white color scheme.

The complete story along with vintage photos can be found on the Metro Transportation Library’s Primary Resources blog.

5 replies

  1. I remember when there was an experimental Minibus service serving the northern part of Granada Hills (170). Great idea, no one rode it.

    The one thing I remember about those Minibuses was the awful gearing on them.

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  2. I REMEMBER IN THE 80′S, WHEN MY SON WAS ABOUT 2 OR 3 YRS OLD, WE USED TO TAKE THE TROLLEY DOWN 3RD STREET AND FAIRFAX AVE BY FARMER’S MARKET, BEFORE THEY BECAME THE DASH, MY SON LOVES IT SO MUCH THAT WE HAD A ROUND TRIP. THE DASH TOOK OVER THE TROLLEY ROUTE, FUN WHILE IT’S LAST

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  3. The Dash needs to improve.

    I wish LADOT would improve the DASH bus fleet. They should buy better buses like the NABI 32ft Low Floor buses Metro brought:

    Or maybe the Orion 30ft VII buses:

    These buses showen in the picture would be an improvement over the current fleet which are the Eldorado National EZ Riders. If they buy a NABI or Orion 32ft Low Floor then they should put facing foward seats and improvements.

    We need better buses here at DASH.

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