Bartlett, a native son of Monrovia who served the city in various civic capacities for 27 years, was instrumental in spearheading the redevelopment of Monrovia, including the revitalization of Old Town Monrovia and other major city destinations.
His career in politics began in 1974, when he was elected to the Monrovia City Council. In 1988, Bartlett became Monrovia’s first African-American mayor and served until 2001. He passed away on October 11, 2015, at age 75, less than five months prior to the official opening of the Gold Line Foothill Extension, a Metro Rail project which he supported.
“Bob Bartlett was a transformational L.A. County leader who was committed to making our entire region a better place to live,” said John Fasana, Metro Board Chair and Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Duarte. “Bob’s consistent advocacy in supporting better transportation for the L.A. region has led to the robust, multi-modal transit system that we all enjoy today.”
During his career, Bartlett led major transportation initiatives using his inimitable, consensus-building leadership style. In the 1980s, Bartlett testified before key congressional committees in early efforts to secure federal funding for the Metro Red Line. He also fought for Propositions A and C, L.A. County’s first two transportation sales taxes that were approved in 1980 and 1990, respectively.
Bartlett also served on the board of the National League of Cities and was a member of the Transportation Infrastructure Committee, where he played a significant role in orchestrating the merger between the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) and Rapid Transit District (RTD). That merger resulted in the formation of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1993.
“Mr. Bartlett’s reputation as a transportation ‘mover and shaker’ has preceded him,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “It is pioneers like Mr. Bartlett who help set the foundation for a public transit system that we can now build upon to meet the future mobility needs of all our residents.”
He helped create the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, which built the 12-mile extension through five new San Gabriel Valley cities, including Monrovia, on time and on budget. He took a leadership role in the development of the Foothill Transit Zone, and helped create Foothill Transit, the area’s municipal bus provider. Bob also was an alternate on the Metrolink Board for former L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.
The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa officially opened on March 5, 2016. Metro’s Operations Campus, located at 1600 S. California Avenue in Monrovia, is a $265-million state-of-the-art maintenance facility for Metro Gold Line and other light rail system trains serving the region. Bartlett’s plaque is now visible in the park next to the campus on the corner of California and Evergreen avenues.
Another plaque honoring Bartlett can also be viewed at the Monrovia Gold Line Station at 101 W Duarte Road, Monrovia.
Categories: Policy & Funding