Monday, August 13, 2018

Riding Light Rail in LA. Similarities to Metro Vancouver.

Currently, I am in Los Angeles as I am taking a bit of a holiday. When most people think of Los Angeles and transportation, it is likely freeways that come to mind. While the built-form of this area has been heavily influenced by the automobile, it is actually streetcars and interurbans that caused the build-out of the region.

The Pacific Electric Railway Company covered the whole region, but in the mid-twentieth century, the system was sold to automakers in what became the General Motors streetcar conspiracy. The streetcars were destroyed, and freeways where built.

Los Angeles Pacific Electronic Railways Map. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Some of the remnants of that system still exists today, and Metro —the regional transportation authority— has been busy rebuilding the network over the last several decades. While there is a subway system in LA, the majority of the rail network is light rail.

I wanted to share some videos of the Expo Line which fully opened in May of 2016. The line runs on the street, elevated, and in its own rail right-of-way. It shares some of the attributes of the light rail lines that are in the process of being built in the South of Fraser.

The final video is from the Green Line which runs along a freeway.

While LA and Metro Vancouver are generally not thought of as having similarities with their transportation networks. Both regions where defined by streetcars, and both regions are slowly rebuilding these networks which were abandoned in the mid-twentieth century.

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