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Many L.A. transit systems never got a move on

A lofty plan

When the black-and-orange funicular cars of Angels Flight resumed rattling up and down Bunker Hill two months ago, they were justly hailed as a link to the city's past.

After all, the 298-foot-long ride — dubbed "the smallest railway in the world" — dates to 1901.

Don't expect comebacks, however, from some other past transit systems, such as the San Pedro-L.A. camel train, the Aerial Swallow monorail, the Pasadena Cycleway and L.A. River Cruises. Each flamed out.

L.A.'s brief camel era began in 1863 after the city was given 28 of the creatures from the 1st U.S. Army Camel Corps. The experimental unit had been downsized because of the Civil War.

L.A. Then and Now columnist Steve Harvey looks at some of the more bizarre -- and creative -- transportation ideas floating in Los Angeles over the years.

Photo: An artist's conception of elevated "people-movers" envisioned for the Los Angeles Civic Center in the 1970s. But the concept was opposed by San Fernando Valley legislators who thought their region was being left out. 
 
Comments () | Archives (2)

For what it's worth, there are some elevated walkways near the Bonaventure on Figueroa which are supposed to have been part of a people-mover project.

They don't look so bad but that picture of the Civic Center... yikes! I'm a rail transit fan, and I'm glad that didn't get built...

The San Fernando Valley gets no sympathy from me. First of all, did they ever honestly expect a downtown circulator to help them out?

Secondly, they have a bad habit of moaning and complaining about not getting anything... until a transit project has a chance of getting built. Then they switch to NIMBY mode. That's how the Orange Line ended up as a busway instead of a subway or a light rail line, and they got what they deserved.

One thing I enjoy is water based public transport. Ferry's and cruises are the best. There's nothing like a bit of river cruising on a summer's day to cheer you up, even if it's just for a couple of minutes...


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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