RetroRide Coverage: Los Angeles

In addition to the GTFS files that are being developed as a part of this project, RetroRide uses public GTFS feeds that were provided by transit agencies.  As you may know, at one time, the RTD was the "800-pound gorilla" which provided public transit services throughout a multi-county region.  As time went by, the mighty RTD would start getting chipped away with the big hit taking place when the Foothill Transit Zone was established.  As a result, there are many areas that RTD served in 1979 but no longer served in 2009 and 2016.  In order to provide comparisons between the RTD services provided in the 70s and the alternate provider services provided today, we have included GTFS feeds of several municipal providers where they are available.  We do note that not all providers have been providing feeds for that long.  We were fortunate that Metro maintained a 2009 GTFS file.  This is the primary way we are able to give 2009 as a comparison.  Here's a listing of providers used in each search:

  2016 data 2009 data 1979 data
Southern California Rapid Transit District
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Authentic Authentic Near-sysemwide support. 
Most schedules authentic.
Los Angeles Department of Transportation Authentic Stretched from 2016 Some service part of SCRTD.
Culver City Bus Authentic Stretched from 2016  
Foothill Transit Authentic   Routes were part of SCRTD
Glendale Beeline Authentic Stretched from 2016 Some service part of SCRTD
Long Beach Transit Authentic    
Metrolink/SCRRA Authentic Stretched from 2016  
Montebello     Planned for future
Monterey Park Authentic    
Omnitrans Authentic Stretched from 2016 Planned for future
Orange County Transit Authority Authentic   Planned for future
Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority Authentic   Some service part of SCRTD
Riverside Transit Authority Authentic    
Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Authentic Stretched from 2016 Planned for future
Thousand Oaks Transit Authentic    

NOTE:: For 2009 in order to present a more complete database, we have intentionally "stretched" some 2016 GTFS files of municipal agencies back to 2009.  For agencies with stretched data, the 2009 routes and timepoints should not be considered as authentic.

A note about street names

Since 1979, some major street names in Los Angeles have changed.  Because the 1979 RetroRide implementation uses stop data from the 2009 LACMTA GTFS file as a baseline (we added nearly 5,000 additional bus stops to that list), we still have many bus stops in the GTFS and trip planner data that includes the original street names.  We may undergo a project at a later time to change the street names to their 1979 names.  The main street name changes included:

  • All of Brooklyn Avenue and Macy Street as well as a very small portion of Sunset Blvd. changed to Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
  • Santa Barbara Ave. and portions of Century Blvd. changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
  • Large sections of Compton Blvd. were changed to either Marine Avenue or Somerset Avenue.

The Project attempted to assure that new stops added would have the original street names.  Despite that, you may see the modern street names appear in trip plans and in a few cases, the modern street names may show in the static schedules.  (We will fix the static schedules when we discover them).  

A note about stop locations

With the exception of the Downtown Los Angeles central business district, RetroRide may not necessarily depict the correct bus stop location at a particular intersection based on the route back in the 1970s.  In the case of abandoned stops, we look for certain aspects incluidng bus pads (the concrete pads in the roadway where bus stops are), remaining concrete on the sidewalk and other remaining amenities such as benches and trash cans. Many abandoned stops were picked up by other transit agencies and are still maintained.  Where no data is available, we made a best effort to place the stop.

A note about walking distances and street alignments

RetroRide's engine (Open Trip Planner) uses open source mapping data as the underlying street map for the Los Angeles area.  The street map data is modern.  Since 1979, streets were added, freeways were added, streets and even entire neighborhoods (see Line 877) have been eliminated.  Therefore, you may find that some routes now go thorugh buildings that weren't there in 1979.  Therefore, the walking distances and instructions for 1979 results reflect modern street alignments.