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Waiting Room Gallery

The Yellow Car and Los Angeles

Waiting Room Gallery

Featuring materials sourced from the Metro Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive, Metro Art's new exhibition in the Union Station Waiting Room Gallery, The Yellow Car and Los Angeles, offers a fond look back at two foundations of public transit in the region: the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles Railway Corporation and the transition to LA’s first years of bus service. Together, these early rail and bus lines shaped the Metro system we have today.

While the Pacific Electric Railway’s Red Cars are the better-known rail line whose name evokes trolley trips to the beaches or mountains for Angeleno history buffs, LARy’s Yellow Cars were equally important. The Red Cars served suburban commuters and the Yellow Cars connected a six-mile radius of neighborhoods to downtown, from as far west as La Brea Avenue to as far south as Hawthorne, and as far north as Eagle Rock. In 1923, Pacific Electric and LARy jointly formed LA’s first bus system to create connections between rail lines and expand service to streets without rail. The first bus line was on Western Avenue and still runs as Line 207 between Hollywood and the C Line (Green).

The exhibition, which was designed expressly for the Union Station Waiting Room by Metro Art, features reproduction photographs, tickets and other ephemera from the Metro Transportation Library and Archive. Design drawings are side by side with street photographs of the trolleys and buses. Hand-painted place names, map-like dots and lines, and colors in the exhibition’s design are inspired by painted signs and vintage maps (1926-1944) in the library's collection.

Select images from the exhibition are below. To view the full The Yellow Car and Los Angeles online exhibition, click here.

1- The Yellow Car and Los Angeles Installation View

2- Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) route map covering electric car and bus routes, 1935, front view.

3- LARy Type B, photographed 1944

4- The Yellow Car and Los Angeles Installation View

5- Street scene with double-decker Los Angeles Motor Coach Company bus, photographed 1935.


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