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Metro's Blue Line Turns 20 Today

Photo by Open Air Control Testing Ground via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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20 years ago today, Metro's Blue Line opened, marking the return of public transit by rail to the city, and signaling the start of decades of change ahead to grow and develop the system's network of lines and trains.

Los Angeles in 1990 was a different place indeed, and the Blue Line--and Metro itself--was different, too. The Militant Angeleno remembers vividly being one of the few who gathered in Downtown to herald the opening of the line on this day 20 years ago:

On Blue Line opening day, the line was only 19.5 miles long - only the section between the Pico and Anaheim stations was in operation (The Long Beach loop would open in September '90 and the underground section to 7th/Metro Center opened in Feb '91). The fares were free for the first two weeks, and afterward were only $1.10 (A 40-cent increase in 20 years? Compare that to the increase of gas prices since then - $1.16/gal vs. $3.07/gal today. Not bad when you think about it, so quit yer bitching, BRU drones). The area around Pico Station was a bleak industrial zone. No Staples Center, the Convention Center had not been expanded yet, and certainly no condos, restaurants or LA Live. In fact, tell someone 20 years ago about that and you'd get laughed at!

Since then we've seen the city change, and we're on the verge of digging down to put in more rail that links the center to the sea. Happy Birthday, Blue Line!