Today is the 50th anniversary of one of the most important speeches in local transit history.
It involved a 1963 vision for the future of local transportation that even included TAP-like “magic eye” machine-readable fare media…and a subway to Westwood by 1968 by the Executive Director of Los Angeles’ first MTA.
Smart-card fare collection and subterranean transit to the Westside obviously would not come to fruition for decades.
But the inability of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA) to levy taxes and its Board to build broad public support or acquire real property through eminent domain set the stage for the creation of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, in 1964.
The speech was part of “Rail Rapid Transit: A Reality,” a proposal for “a new 58-mile regional rapid transit system” to begin construction by 1964.
Ironically, it proposed four corridors for transit — to Long Beach, North Hollywood, El Monte and West Los Angeles — all of which were eventually constructed through public support and funds (with West L.A. on the way).
The speech is a fascinating look back at the future of transit as forseen in 1963. The full text of it can be found on the Metro Library’s Primary Resources Blog.