The Yellow Car And Los Angeles

TAKE A FREE TOUR of the Yellow Car Exhibition and Historic Union Station

Waiting Room Gallery

Monday, November 21, 2022 | Ongoing

The Yellow Car and Los Angeles, an original exhibition organized by Metro Art and featuring materials sourced from the Metro Transportation Library and Archive, highlights the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles Railway Corporation (or LARy, for short) and LA’s early buses to offer a fond look back at Los Angeles transit history. Together, these early rail and bus lines are foundations which shaped the Metro system the agency is working to restore today.

The exhibition, which was designed by Metro Art expressly for the Union Station Waiting Room, features reproduction photographs, tickets and other ephemera from the Metro Transportation Library and Archive. Rail car design drawings are side by side with street photographs of the trolleys. 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 transportation library’s collection.

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).

To view the The Yellow Car and Los Angeles exhibition online, click here.

Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative, award-winning visual and performing arts programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites and neighborhoods throughout LA County. A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. Click here for more information about the Metro Art program. Follow Metro Art on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe for email updates.

Metro’s Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive is one of the most comprehensive transit operator-owned library resources in the United States. It isthe only multimodal transportation library in Southern California and is open to the public. Its origins date back to the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway (1895) and Pacific Electric Railway (1899). Click here for more information about the Metro Transportation Library and Archive. Follow the Library on Flickr and Instagram.