Southern California Rapid Transit District 1964-1993
The Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD), was created by an act of the California State Legislature in 1964, and took over all of the bus service operated by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA).
SCRTD was created on August 22, 1964 to serve the urbanized Southern California region, including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and Riverside County.
SCRTD replaced the major predecessor public agency, LAMTA, and ten different private bus companies in the Southern California region.
SCRTD was placed in charge of creating a heavy rail public transportation system for Southern California, and for planning for bus improvements.
In 1974, the El Monte Busway was opened, a bus-only lane (later converted to a high-occupancy vehicle lane).
In 1973, SCRTD shed parts of its operations outside of Los Angeles County. They were taken over by other agencies including what was then the new Orange County Transit District (now Orange County Transit Authority).
SCRTD continued to operate inter-county service to Riverside and San Bernardino until the formation of LACMTA in 1993.
In 1980 voters passed Proposition A, a half-cent sales tax for a regional transit system.
The measure succeeded after similar proposals in 1968 and 1974 had failed.
The map that accompanied the initiative showed ten transit corridors with the Wilshire subway line the "cornerstone" of the system.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn was one of the key supporters of the proposition, declaring, "I'm going to put the trains back." Hahn ensured that his South Los Angeles district received the first dollars for a light-rail line on the old Long Beach Red Car route from Los Angeles to Long Beach (Metro Blue Line), after seeing the success of the San Diego Trolley.
On September 11, 1985, Congressman Waxman added an amendment to that year's Federal Transportation Budget removing all subway construction funds, citing safety concerns after an unrelated methane explosion in the Fairfax District.
By 1986, thanks in part to last minute lobbying by SCRTD president Nick Patsaouras, compromise was reached between Waxman and Representative Julian Dixon.
The deal allowed funding
as long as service did not pass through the Wilshire corridor.
With a Wilshire corridor alignment prohibited, the Red Line was re-prioritized and routed north up Vermont (the next highest projected ridership corridor) to Hollywood. Because of the change in alignment, there is now a 1-mile stub on Wilshire Boulevard between Vermont and Western Avenues.
The successor agency to SCRTD (1993) is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA).
LACMTA is the product of the merger of SCRTD and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC).
SCRTD and LACTC officially merged on April 1, 1993. Initially, the agency retained the locations of the predecessor agencies in Downtown Los Angeles, but later moved to the 25-story Gateway Plaza Building adjacent to historic Union Station in 1995.