Metro Transportation Library & Archive

Before TAP: The 1963 vision of smart-card fare collection and rapid transit for L.A.

Saturday marks one of the more interesting anniversaries in local transportation history.  Forty-nine years ago this weekend, C.M. Gilliss, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, outlined his plan for comprehensive rapid transit in L.A. at the downtown Statler-Hilton Hotel. His vision included individually-coded credit cards, “magic-eye” fare computers, [continue reading]

L.A. had double-decker buses? Looking back at the history of Wilshire Boulevard

Our extensive coverage of the Westside Subway Extension and Bus Rapid Transit for Wilshire Boulevard this year provides us with an opportunity to revisit Wilshire of days gone by. The Metro Library Primary Resources blog highlights several items of interest from the past, including 1920s and ’30s double-decker bus service, holiday celebrations and historic [continue reading]

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

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 [continue reading]

The way they were: a fresh look at 1940s Los Angeles Railway streetcar images and specs

  The Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s collection on Flickr now contains more than 7,500 historic images and continues to grow. Numerous photographs from the Pacific Electric (“Red Car”) and Los Angeles Railway(“Yellow Car”) systems shed light on our transit history and what was once the largest streetcar system in the world. This [continue reading]

Los Angeles had…cable cars??

This week, the Metro Transportation Library and Archive takes us back 130 years to when cable cars were the mode of choice in our (then) very small town. The cable car era lasted only about a decade, but the first transit system after horse-drawn cars is not well-known and the images from the Library’s collection are [continue reading]

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