By Ralph Cantos
This photo looking east on East First Street at the LA Civic Center dramatically illustrates the speed and determination the LAMTA employed in the swift elimination of LA's perfect PCC-operated rail system. Once the P line, this nation's busiest surface streetcar line, operated along East First Street. Now, just weeks after abandonment, the excellent rails are paved over. The LARY-LATL overhead wires, renowned in the industry for their excellence, remain as a ghostly reminder of P cars past.
The LAMTA even went to to the trouble of removing the familiar white "CAR STOP" sign from the span wires as the rails were paved over. Perhaps the LAMTA thought some uninformed Angelino would wait in vain for a P car if the "CAR STOP" sign was still displayed above the rail-less street.
Most all Angelenos loved the fast, silent, smooth PCCs that took them to work and play. The shiny new replacement buses were no improvement in comfort or service on any of the former PCC-operated lines. It was a shameful downgrade in service levels, and everyone that rode the PCCs were very aware of it. But the LAMTA and LA City officials did not give a damn, they had bigger plans for the area around Pico Blvd. and Georgia St. The beautiful PCCs just happened to be in the way of a progressive Los Angeles, and the former rail commuters would pay dearly for it.
Ralph Cantos Collection