Vintage Los Angeles GTFS Project

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This project is on hold at this time.  In 2016, REC has developed an improved method of converting vintage schedule data into GTFS and is currently involved in a project called RetroRide to convert selected lines from the Southern California Rapid Transit District from the late 70s and early 80s.  

So far,we have completed 41 lines including the entire San Fernando Valley and various routes throughout the region including the infamous Line 496.  This is a slow process and any help from anyone who can provide scans or copies of vintage public timetables or supervisor summaries from this era would be deeply appreciated.

For now, to experience the GTFS data that has already been compiled, go to 
http://retroride.net
for a comparison of RTD/Metro transit services from the late 70s, 2009 and 2016. 

More information will follow.


For now, here's the information on the previous Vintage GTFS Project.  We will eventually go to these schedules using the newer technology.

To preserve the information on old transit routes that used to operate in the Los Angeles area in an effort to show the progress that has been made to this day as well as keep a digital record of the actual services provided at the time.

This project involves:

  • Reviewing timetables and determing stop groups (each different travel pattern in a certain direction is a "stop group".  Routes with branches [such as 39, 56, 81, etc.] will have at least one stop group for each branch.  Short lines and limited services have to be in their own stop groups.)
  • Designing a KML path for each stop group.
  • Identifying all stops that may have been used for that route during the vintage period while excluding stops that were obviously added in the "future".  This includes adding new stops on streets that were abandoned by MTA/RTD/Metro. 
  • Dividing the timetable into stop groups and identifying the changes in running time between timepoints throughout the service day and then rebuilding the timetable based on that. 
  • Taking all of the data and making a valid GTFS file.

Project Status (7/15/2012): We have completed defining the stop groups and which stop sequence is at each timepoint in each stop group.  In other words, how many stops are between timepoints A and B and then between B and C, etc.  The next part is the ugly part.  Going through each schedule and looking for the running time differences throughout the day and separating the schedule into running time classes.  This has to be done for every stop group.  Some routes such as 56 have as many as 20 stop groups (both directions).

 

This first project is looking at the services of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority circa 1959 and 1960 starting with the following San Fernando Valley routes at the time:

  • 14 - North Hollywood-Burbank-San Fernando (Victory-Magnolia-Laurel Canyon) - 3/21/60
  • 15 - San Fernando - Olive View Sanitarium - Sylmar US Veterans Hospital - 6/15/59
  • 16 - Sun Valley - North Hollywood (Vineland) - 6/5/59
  • 19 - North Hollywood - Burbank (Burbank Blvd.) - 3/21/60
  • 21 - Burbank (Lockheed) - Hollywood - Culver City (Barham-Hollywood Way) - 3/21/60
  • 22 - Hollywood - Burbank (Verdugo-Olive) - 3/21/60
  • 24 - San Fernando - Burbank - Los Angeles (San Fernando Rd-Glenoaks) - 9/11/60
  • 35 - West Valley Freeway Flyer - 4/9/60
  • 39 - Burbank - Glendale - Los Angeles (Glenoaks - Brand) - 9/11/60
  • 56 - Sunland - La Canada - Montrose - Glendale - Los Angeles - 6/19/60
  • 74 - Van Nuys - San Fernando (Sepulveda-Victory-Reseda) - 10/30/60
  • 81 - Tarzana - Hollywood - Glendale - Eagle Rock - Pasadena (Ventura Bl) - 6/19/60
  • 86 - Pacoima - Panorama City - Van Nuys - North Hollywood - Burbank - Los Angeles - 2/2/59
  • 87 - North Hollywood - Studio City (Lankershim) -  12/12/60
  • 88 - North Hollywood - Van Nuys (Tujunga-Vanowen) - 12/12/60
  • 90 - Sherman Oaks - Van Nuys - Canoga Park (Van Nuys Bl-Sherman Way) - 10/30/60
  • 93 - Panorama City - Van Nuys - Hollywood - Los Angeles (& Central Valley Freeway Flyer) - 6/19/60

These are all of the routes operating in the San Fernando Valley at that time. 

Some of the interesting caveats about this project:

  • First and foremost, a LOT has changed in the past 50 years.  With the construction of freeways in Los Angeles during the 1960s, many streets have been chopped and no longer go through.  In this project, where we have situations like this (such as 81 turning into the Pasadena area or the 15 looping through the old Olive View facility before the Foothill Freeway was built), some lines go over what are today grassy fields or freeways.  This includes the placement of stops in these "dead" areas.  If there was a "pre-freeway" alignment that I know about, I will use it, even if it violates the modern day map.
  • Speaking of stops, with the exception of the Downtown Central Business District, we do not have stop lists from the 1960s so we find it necessary to add stops on streets that no longer have service, streets that have been taken over by other providers (like Glendale) and in the case of the CBD, going the "other way" on one-way streets. 
  • The main list of stops is the current GTFS stops.txt provided by LACMTA (2012 vintage) so it is possible that some street names have changed over the years (e.g. Santa Barbara to ML King, Sunset in Downtown to Cesar Chavez, etc.) and our stops.txt will list the modern names however stops that are added to stops.txt for this project will have the historic names wherever possible. 
  • Sometimes, progress does not just mean the construction of freeways, but also the construction of buildings.  We will not compensate for that.  For example, a fan-trip following the old Line 24 would not be possible because of the Burbank Town Center at Magnolia and San Fernando.  As you can see here, the 24 goes right through the building and we had put bus stops inside the building area.
  • If I can get some street maps from this era to confirm street alignments, I will chage route alignments to be true to the original,even if it goes through buildings or my best friend's backyard.

Project Files

KML of San Fernando Valley c. 1960 Stop Groups - This file includes all of the route shapes that will be used for the shapes.txt file.  This was based on our best effort to determine the exact routings.  Back then, maps were very vague, especially where it came to turnaround loops and exact locations of layovers. 

Copyright

This project is an effort of the use of public information along with some original creative work to make as close as possible, a historical account of transit service in this era.  I claim this project as my original work but I will place it in Creative Commons with attribution to Michelle Eyre for NON-COMMERCIAL use only.  Please don't develop any paid apps (or apps with ads) based on the data from this project but if you want to put it into opentripplanner or something like that for a non-commercial use.. that is fine.

But with that, I am asking if anyone wants to build on this, please do so.  If you want to add a different part of Los Angeles or a different era and you have access to full timetables, please let me know and we can coordinate something.  Scans of timetables (including the maps) that I do not have would be deeply appreciated.  Please use the "Contact REC Networks" link above to get a hold of me. 

Timetables I already have

This is a list of timetables I already have from this era that can go into this project.. if you have an original or a scan of a timetable that is not on this list, please let me know:

  • 5F - Centinela Valley Freeway Flyer (1960)
  • 7F - Southside Freeway Flyer (1960)
  • 8 - West 54th Street-North Main Street (1959)
  • 14 - San Fernando-North Hollywood-Burbank (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 15 - San Fernando-Olive View-US Veterans Hospital (1959)
  • 16 - Sun Valley-North Hollywood (1959)
  • 17 - Pasadena-Hollywood [became part of 81 in 1960] (1958, 1959)
  • 19 - Burbank Blvd (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 20 - Victory Blvd [became part of 14 in 1960] (1958, 1959)
  • 21 - Culver City-Hollywood-Lockheed (1959, 1960)
  • 22 - Hollywood-Burbank (1959, 1960)
  • 24 - Los Angeles-San Fernando (1958, 1960)
  • 31 - Vermont-Los Feliz (1960)
  • 33 - San Pedro-Wilmington-Compton (1959, 1960)
  • 34 - Los Angeles-Lynwood-Paramount-Bellflower (1958, 1960)
  • 35 - West Valley Freeway Flyer (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 36 - LA to Long Beach rail (I only have what is in the 33 timetable.. I need the whole 36) (1959, 1960)
  • 37 - Harbor Freeway Flyer (1959, 1960)
  • 39 - Los Angeles-Glendale-Burbank (1960)
  • 40 - Long Beach-Huntington Park (1958)
  • 42 - Temple Street (1959, 1960)
  • 43 - Avenue 50/El Paso Dr (1960)
  • 44 - Beverly-West Adams (1960)
  • 45 - Eagle Rock (1960)
  • 52 - Los Angeles-Alhambra-San Gabriel-Temple City-Arcadia (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 55 - Los Angeles-Newport Beach-Balboa (1958, 1959)
  • 56 - Los Angeles-Sunland (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 57 - Hollywood Park (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 57 - Los Alamitos (1960)
  • 58 - Los Angeles-Fullerton-Disneyland-Santa Ana (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 58D - Disneyland Freeway Flyer and Local Service (1958, 1959)
  • 58W - Whitter Blvd local (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 59 - Long Beach-Riverside (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 60 - San Gabriel Freeway Flyer LA-San Bernardino-Riverside (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 61 - Long Beach-Pasadena (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 62 - Riverside-Arlington-La Sierra-Corona (1960)
  • 63 - Los Angeles-Pomona via Garvey (1958, 1960)
  • 63V - Valley Blvd. Local (1958, 1959)
  • 64 - Pasadena-Pomona (1958, 1959)
  • 65 - Silverlake-Riverside (1960)
  • 66 - Huntington Park-Long Beach-San Pedro (1959, 1960)
  • 67 - Los Angeles-Sierra Madre-Santa Anita Highlands (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 68 - Los Angeles-Monrovia-Glendora (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 69 - Los Angeles-Hellman Avenue (1958, 1959)
  • 70 - Los Angeles-Pasadena via Oak Knoll (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 71 - Los Angeles-Pasadena via Short Line (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 74 - Van Nuys-San Fernando (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 75B - Los Angeles-Glendale-Burbank [became Line 39 in 1959] (1958)
  • 75S - Olympic/Santa Monica (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 75V - Venice Blvd (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 76 - Beverly Blvd-Sunset Blvd-UCLA (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 78 - Talmadge- Hyperion (1960)
  • 79 - Garfield Avenue - Highland Park (1959, 1960)
  • 80 - Emery Park (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 81 - Hollywood-Ventura Blvd (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 83 - Sunset Service (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 83 - Wilshire-Brentwood Service (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 83 - Wilshire including Wilshire Zephyr (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 86 - Los Angeles-North Hollywood-Van Nuys-Panorama City-Pacoima (1958, 1959)
  • 87 - North Hollywood-Studio City (1960)
  • 88 - North Hollywood-Van Nuys (1960)
  • 89 - Fairfax-Hollywoodland-Western & Franklin (1959)
  • 90 - Sherman Oaks-Van Nuys-Canoga Park (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 91 - Hollywood Blvd. (1958, 1960)
  • 92 - Watts-Sierra Vista (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 93 - Los Angeles-North Hollywood-Van Nuys (1958, 1959, 1960)
  • 93F - Central Valley Freeway Flyer (1960)
  • 94 - Hill St-Echo Park-Santa Monica Bl-West Hollywood (1959, 1960)
  • 99 - Restaurant Row-La Cienega ["Ride 99 to Dine"] (1958)