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Re: LA Rail Revival

On Mon, 14 Jun 1999 elson@westworld.com wrote:
> Originally the Blue (light rail) and Red (subway) lines were built by
> different agencies. The old Rapid Transit District (RTD) originally
> planned and built the subway - it's "corporate" color was red. The old
> L.A. County Transportation Commission planned and built the light rail -
> its corporate color was blue. In 1989 they eventually decided to combine
> into a single system and name the colors after their "corporate" colors,
> and call everything Metro Rail, with each line bearing the name of a
> different color.
> Additionally, the Green Line (light rail) was named so because it runs
> along a freeway, and the dominant color of freeway signage is green.

Nope. While your reasons may have played a part in it, they are not the
"official" reasons. Here are the "official" reasons from a 1993 MTA rail
brochure that showed rail lines everywhere: 

Metro Red Line: "The color red traditionally signifies power and
excitement. That holds true for the Metro Red Line, Los Angeles' first
subway system, which opened January 30, 1993. Considered the spine of the
Los Angeles region's new 400-mile rail transit system, the Metro Red Line
runs underground from Union Station to Wilshire/Alvarado the first

Metro Blue Line: "Blue is a primary color and was selected as the color
for our first rail system...."

Metro Green Line: "The color green is commonly associated with growing,
which makes the name of the Metro Rail's third commuter line quite

Whose reasons are right? Only the namers know. (I've heard that Blue also
refers to the ocean (Long Beach), green refers to the automated nature of
the line or to the greenery that was once in the area, and red to the
color of the third rail. Who knows?)