YPICAL OF TRANSIT SYSTEMS in the postwar years, Pacific Electric’s operating costs rose faster than its revenue in spite of frequent fare increases.  Economies gained by the modernization program of 1950-1951 and tax savings achieved by selling rights-of-way were not enough to offset a decrease in passenger volume as the freeways grew and employment decentralized.  Even though continuing emphasis on freight traffic had increased revenue from that source, PE ‘s financial problems were still not solved.

Considering the Southern Pacific’s historic attitude, one evident answer was to find a buyer for PE’s passenger service.  On March 3, 1 1953, PE announced an agreement to sell its passenger operations, both rail and bus, to Jesse Haugh.  A former Pacific City Lines executive, Haugh had formed Western Transit Systems as a holding company in 1947 and subsequently acquired the San Diego Transit System as well.

Metropolitan Coach Lines was incorporated in California on May 18, 1953; Haugh capitalized it at $8.5 million, $7.2 million of which was to cover the purchase price of the Pacific Electric assets and the remainder was for organizational expenses and working capital.  The sale was completed on October 1, 1953, with PE’s entire passenger operating rights and all facilities and property related to the bus lines being turned over to Metro.  These included the Pasadena, Ocean Park and West Hollywood garages, Macy Street shops, servicing and storage locations at Van Nuys, Sunland, Long Beach (Morgan Avenue) and Echo Park Avenue, stations at Pomona, Riverside and Whittier, and 695 buses.

The situation of the rail lines was somewhat more unusual.  As part of the sale agreement, Pacific Electric provided Metro with rent-free use of facilities (cars, tracks. overhead and stations) for a period of two years, with an option to rent the property on a month-to-month basis beyond that time.  Included in this category were the Main Street Station and offices, the Los Angeles Street Motor Coach Terminal, the Subway Terminal and the stations at San Bernardino and Long Beach as well as all other passenger facilities throughout the system.

The eventuality of ever having to exercise the rental option seemed remote when Haugh stated his intention to abandon all rail service within six months or request substantial fare increases.  At that time only the Hollywood Blvd. and Glendale—Burbank rail lines remained in the Western District and the Watts, Bellflower, San Pedro and Long Beach lines in the Southern District.  Haugh promptly applied to abandon them all.


New Metro Buses

During hearings on the acquisition, Haugh testified that Metro planned to buy 100 new buses a year to replace the interurban cars and PE Whites.  Plans were also disclosed at that time to modify existing installations and construct new servicing and storage bases so that system operation could be reorganized on a regional basis.  As a follow-up to purchase of the initial 35 by PE, the TDH-4801 became Metro’s standard, with 100 placed on order as promised soon after the takeover.  Key System had ordered 30 similar buses in the meantime, but because of a lengthy strike they had not been shipped, and these were sold to Metro in December 1953.

The buses arrived in Key System paint inside and out and wore Key numbers 2100-2129.  They had never reached Oakland and were shipped from GM with their Metro-peculiar features not completely installed.  The delivery paperwork noted that extra markers, stanchions and adapters, new two-piece roll signs and platforms for the seats ahead of the wheel housings should be added and that the heating system should be changed.  The work not completed at the factory was performed at Torrance.  As if to explain the reason for the existence of the TDH-4801, the final note on the GM delivery record cautioned that ‘‘These coaches, when completed, must not exceed 16,500 lbs. on the rear axle with seated load, including full complement of fuel, water and oil.’’

A Christmas present for riders on the Wilshire Blvd. line, these buses appeared in a new paint scheme of dark green around the windows, light green below and a white roof.  This was introduced concurrently in San Diego and on Western Transit Systems properties; its colors were supposedly particularly resistant to smog.  They were numbered 301-330 starting a new roster sequence.

The 100 TDH-4801s (400 series) of Metro’s first order started to arrive in the spring of 1954.  Thirty of them were replacing older diesels on the Sunset Blvd. line (83. ex-LAMC) on June 16.  A second group replaced the 2900s in base service on the Santa Monica Blvd. line (94) shortly thereafter.  The equipment policy was never in question, as the TDH-4801 became the standard of the system.  Metro operated the first 165 built (including the initial PE order) and eventually 268 of the 542 produced.


Asbury Acquired

On August 3, 1954, Metro acquired control of its largest competitor, the Asbury Rapid Transit System.  As had been the case with PE's purchase of the Motor Transit Co. a quarter century earlier, Asbury became a wholly owned subsidiary and was separately operated.

The Asbury rights to operate the Burbank local lines were still temporary and had been renewed seven times in five years, principally to avoid franchise tax payments; permanent rights were secured on April 20. 1954.  On July 22 the PUC approved the sale of Asbury Rapid Transit to Metropolitan Coach Lines for $150,000.  The transfer of assets took place on August 3 and included Asbury routes, 98 buses, the Glendale garages at Los Feliz Blvd. and Central Avenue, and terminals at San Fernando and Hollywood.

At that time much of the company’s older equipment was not being operated and had served only to inflate Asbury’s book value.  By September Metro had disposed of all 19 remaining Fords, 11 old Macks, the two second-hand Whites, and one of the Crowns.  The other buses were sufficient to run the operation, and they continued to cover the Asbury routes in the Asbury colors.  Asbury’s 140 miles of route covered an area to the north and west of Los Angeles and there were two seasonal racetrack services.  Metro numbered the Asbury routes from 12 to 26, after the Bellflower car line, which was officially line 11.  In the former PE scheme they should have taken numbers upward from 95.  The list was as follows:


12        Los Angeles—San Fernando

       13        Los Angeles—Burbank via Riverside Drive

       14        North Hollywood—San Fernando

       15        San Fernando—Olive View VA Hospital

       16        North Hollywood—Sun Valley

       17        Hollywood—Pasadena

       18        North Hollywood-Burbank

       19        St. Joseph’s Hospital Burbank Blvd.

       20        Victory Blvd. Local

       21        Hollywood—Culver City

       22        Hollywood—Burbank (Short Line)

       23        Hollywood—Burbank (Long Line)

       24        Hollywood—Lockheed

       25        Hollywood—Hollywood Park Race Track

       26        Hollywood—Santa Anita Race Track


This was the first time visible line numbers appeared on Asbury buses with certain alternate routings receiving common numbers for ease of identification.  The appearance of Metro-style timetable folders and a map showing both Metro and Asbury routes in the San Fernando Valley were other manifestations of the new ownership.  The Asbury buses stayed in their former paint scheme of silver and dark green with an orange roof for some time, as route consolidations were made gradually and the operations of the two systems cautiously merged.


The New Look

Jesse Haugh was extremely conscious of the Metro image and took every available opportunity to improve it.  The most visible asset of the new company was, of course, its equipment and one of the first programs that Haugh instituted was to repaint the red PE equipment into Metro green.  By the time that Metro reached its first anniversary, more than 200 of the newer GM's had gone through the shops and the program continued at the rate of one a day.  All the remaining GM’s and Yellow Coaches followed through the shops as well as the newer Whites.

Dents were knocked out and new panels installed prior to painting; in the interior, the driver s area was repainted dark green for eye comfort and a safety stanchion was added near the farebox.  The prewar diesels also received new bumpers and turn signals, which gave them a more modern look.  Metro initially replaced the lettering in the winged PE herald on the older equipment with “Metropolitan Coach Lines.’’  At first glance, the change was difficult to detect.  Along with the new green paint scheme, however, came a new herald, a variation of the one used by Haugh on his other properties.  Emblazoned over a winged shield was the word ‘‘Metropolitan’’ and across the wings, “Coach Lines’’ on the shield itself was a motto like one used in the past by PE, “Safety, Courtesy, Service.’’


Revisions in Hollywood

Almost a year after applying to abandon the Subway—Hollywood Blvd. carline, Metro received permission and substituted the second bus line 91 for the rail service on September 26, 1954.  The new line was extended over the Hollywood—Beverly Hills University line (77), and the equipment used was the last group of 400-series TDH-4801s, which had been in storage at West Hollywood since their delivery during the summer.

The rail replacement route (via Santa Monica Blvd.) was designated 91W and the Sunset Blvd. branch (an extension of the Gardner Jct. short turns on the car line) was designated 91S.  Rush-hour use of the Hollywood Freeway was increased at this time as certain line 91 trips continued on the Freeway beyond Santa Monica Blvd. to the San Fernando Valley bypassing Hollywood.

Hollywood bus service was rearranged to alleviate traffic congestion by through-routing lines to avoid turning movements in areas of heavy traffic.  Two short lines were grafted onto a single longer one, saving buses and platform hours as well.  The Western and Franklin line (78) and the Hollywoodland portion of the Hollywood—Beverly Hills—University line were appended to the Fairfax Avenue line (89, ex-LAMC), so that the busy intersection of Hollywood and Vine ceased to be a regular terminus.  Moreover, the former LAMC Wilshire and Sunset lines were through-routed in downtown Los Angeles to reduce the number of buses terminating there; the Wilshire line became 83W and the Sunset service 83S.  There was, however, more service on Wilshire than Sunset, so that there were still some Wilshire buses that terminated downtown.

In the Eastern District, Metro revised San Bernardino service effective in November 1954 by creating a new Rt. 60 between Los Angeles. San Bernardino and Redlands.  All trips on line 63 beyond Pomona were transferred to the new line, which had two routings at first: Los Angeles—Pomona—San Bernardino—Redlands via Foothill Blvd. (60G) and Los Angeles—Pomona—Riverside—San Bernardino—Redlands via Valley Blvd. (60V).  The Garvey Local (63G), Valley Local (63V), Brooklyn Avenue (63B), Baldwin Park and Pomona via Covina services stayed as Rt. 63.  The Riverside—Arlington route (62), extended to San Bernardino and Redlands in 1947, was once again cut back to end at Riverside.  A little later, an alternate route via Arrow Highway was added to line 60.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the system, routes in the San Fernando Valley were rearranged and extended to serve new residential areas.  On November 29, 1954, the Birmingham Hospital line (85) was extended to Reseda and cut back to Van Nuys, exchanging terminals with the Van Nuys Canoga Park line (90), which was extended to Sherman Oaks in its place.  Some Ventura Blvd. trips were rerouted at the western end of that line to serve the newly developed Encino Park area.


Divisional Operation

One of the major changes promised by Metro management was a revision of the operating structure of the system along the lines of a transit property, with semi-autonomous divisions, rather than a centralized interurban or intercity type of operation.  This was accomplished by assigning certain administrative functions to newly established operating divisions, based in existing garages -at Pasadena, Riverside, Long Beach, Ocean Park and Macy Street, plus new facilities at Van Nuys, El Monte and West Hollywood.

Centralization of maintenance was achieved in February 1954, when the capability to perform major body and engine work was transferred from Torrance Shops to Macy Street.  By April, construction was in progress on new buildings and other improvements at the old Van Nuys storage lot, and this was reopened on June 30, 1954, as Metro’s first new operating division.  Van Nuys had a capacity of 66 buses and had cost $315,000 to rebuild.

Construction of the second new division began in August on two and a half acres of newly acquired land off Hoyt (now Santa Anita) Avenue, El Monte.  This division was to relieve overcrowding at Macy Street by taking care of 127 buses assigned to San Gabriel Valley and San Bernardino services. Built at a cost of $350,000, it opened on January 1, 1955.  On that day, too, Fairbanks garage, Long Beach, was changed over to the divisional mode of operation.

The second fleet of 100 new buses arrived in February 1955.  Included were 83 TDH-4801s (501-583), largely used to replace older equipment on the Whittier and Santa Ana lines (58W and 58S) and the Garvey and Valley Blvd. routes (63G and 63V).  The other 17 new buses were suburban TDM-4515s (251-267), assigned to the San Bernardino and Riverside lines (60) because of their significant freeway mileage; the longest—70 miles.

New green and white “Metro Coach Lines’’ signs appeared on the terminal building at 6th and Main Streets on March 8, 1955, in place of the red ‘‘Pacific Electric’’ sign which had been a landmark since 1937.  Service to a new Southern California attraction began on April 2, 1955, as new line 58D started carrying employees to a still unfinished Disneyland in Anaheim.  Soon after the amusement park opened on July 18, doubles and even triples became commonplace on morning express runs.

Another area attraction received bus service for the first time a year later.  Starting on July 23, 1956, certain line 58S trips were diverted via Buena Park and Stanton to serve Knott’s Berry Farm.


Southern District Rail lines

No fewer than 18 public hearings had been held on Metro’s application to replace the four Southern District rail lines with buses during 1954, and the PUC’s decision was finally announced on February 15, 1955.  Metro’s primary reason for wanting to substitute buses for the car lines was that the two-year period of rent-free operation would come to an end on October 1, and with PE completing its planned dieselization of freight operations, Metro would be obliged to pay the entire operating and maintenance costs of the electrical distribution system.

Opposition to bus substitution was vocal and well organized.  Municipalities along the proposed route argued that buses would have to run over streets that were inadequate to accommodate them.  Metro’s planned use of the incomplete Long Beach Freeway aroused similar objections because of its choice of an interim alternate routing.  Additional objections came from independent bus operators in San Pedro and Compton, and along Avalon Blvd., whose business would be harmed by the change.  Metro, meanwhile, had issued folders detailing the changeover of service and listing the line numbers assigned to the new bus routes:

       72        Los Angeles—Long Beach

       73        Los Angeles—San Pedro

       74        Los Angeles—Bellflower

       95        Watts

They were never to be used.

The preponderance of testimony was against Metro, and the Commission ruled accordingly despite its recognition that operating expenses would indeed increase because of expected equipment rental charges, and would later increase again when Metro took over maintenance of the overhead and substations.  The argument was that a recently approved fare increase would still provide a sufficient re­turn on Metro’s investment.  The company made its posi­tion clear on April 7 when it applied for a 22 percent inter­urban fare increase.

Since taking over PE’s passenger service, Metro had benefited from two local fare increases, both joint with Los Angeles Transit Lines.  The first had taken effect on November 30, 1953, when token prices were increased from three for 40 cents to seven for $1 without changing the 15-cent, first-zone cash fare or the 5-cent zone fare.  Cash fares went up to 17 cents in the first zone and 6 cents in subsequent zones on March 7. 1955.

The PUC held hearings on Metro’s new application to raise interurban fares (its first) during June and July 1955.  An increase averaging about 19 percent was approved in September and went into effect on October 17.  The proposed equipment rental agreement had been submitted to the Commission in the meantime and had been approved at $50,000 annually: $32,000 for taxes and $18,000 for 78 rail cars.

Almost forgotten, a fifth Southern District rail line came to the attention of the PUC in the fall of 1955.  In September, authorization was received by Metro to use buses on the Catalina Dock line (second route 53) during the winter or at other times when traffic did not warrant an interurban train.  This was to be Metro’s only success (albeit a seasonal one) in changing over a Southern District rail line.  The first bus service was offered on November 31 and was operated sporadically thereafter.


In order to counter the adverse criticism that it had inherited along with PE’s transportation plant, Metro attempted to establish a new image—that of a friendly but harassed tax-paying corporate citizen.  The office of Director of Public Relations was established and feelers were put out in an attempt to change the traveling public’s attitude toward its transportation system.

Tours of Metro offices and facilities were arranged for community leaders, teachers and students.  Service improvements and new equipment were introduced with great fanfare and much publicity.  Chambers of Commerce and other community groups were courted to gain grassroots support throughout the service area.  A program of free return fares for shoppers was instituted with some success in Huntington Park and later in Van Nuys.  A particularly bright spot resulted when a Christmas promotion for the Wilshire Miracle Mile shopping district produced a vividly painted TDH-4801 complete with snowmen.

Haugh’s public relations ventures were successful and resulted in some changed attitudes, but unfortunately the stigma left by PE’s latter-day, public-be-damned attitude was difficult to overcome.  One area that was constantly pressed to the public was that of countering rail rapid transit plans with the concept that the freeways were Los Angeles’ real rapid transit system.  Some schedule times were indeed shortened as more freeways were completed and additional lines rerouted to use them.  The problem was that increasing traffic density defeated these gains as they were made.  It was not until the opening of the El Monte Busway by the Southern California Rapid Transit District that freeway routes could show measurably better performance than those on neighboring streets.

The promotions did, however, prove that it was possible to communicate with the public and that favorable results could be gained.  These efforts would become widely imitated and become the model for such efforts throughout the industry.


Buses Return to Glendale

As in the Southern District, a tortuous path was followed to abandonment of the Glendale-Burbank rail line.  The Los Angeles Board of Public Utilities and Transportation had turned down the first conversion proposal after PUC approval.  Reapplying to the PUC, Metro again received permission to abandon the rail line.  The decision ignored protests of the Glendale City Council, and the Los Angeles Board continued to withhold its approval.  When the 1.8-mile private right-of-way on Glendale Blvd. and Allesandro Street (valued at $100,000) was offered to the city for one dollar, the Los Angeles City Council intervened in favor of Metro, causing the resignation of the president of the Board.

The changeover finally took place on June 19, 1955.  The 30 multiple-unit PCC cars judged unsuitable for use on the Southern District went into storage in the now unused subway, replaced by 40 new 500-series TDH-4801s, which had been held at Torrance Shops since February.  The bus line (75B) was operated as part of Rt. 75, through-routed with trips to Santa Monica via either Beverly Hills or Venice Blvd.

In an attempt to accommodate one of the objections to the replacement of Glendale rail service, Metro had offered to institute a short feeder line through a hilly area adjacent to the rail right-of-way in the Silver Lake district.  The proposed 96—Lake View Heights route would have operated on narrow, hilly streets, and Metro, lacking suitable equipment had offered to obtain a 23-passenger, 30-foot, gasoline-powered bus especially for this line.  The PUC declined the proposal, citing the inhospitable geography and the predicted sparse patronage as reasons.


Asbury Routes Consolidated

Between August 1954 and the fall of 1955, the operations of Metropolitan Coach Lines and Asbury Rapid Transit had for all practical purposes come under a single management.  Some facilities had been integrated, and a common labor contract had been negotiated with employees of both companies.  Studies of common fares and tare zones as well as a joint transfer arrangement were completed and presented to the PUC, along with a proposal for route revisions.

Metro moved toward consolidating Asbury with its own operations on August 7, 1955, when Metro’s Sunland storage lot was closed and part of Metro (once Motor Transit) line 56 was moved into Asbury’s Glendale garage.  Since there was no diesel fueling facilities at Glendale, Metro leased 13 propane Twins from Asbury to operate the service.  Also Asbury closed its San Fernando lot and leased 15 GM diesels from Metro to operate its lines 14 and 15 plus part of line 12 from the Van Nuys division.  Asbury line 21 was operated from Metro’s West Hollywood division using 2600-series diesels.

In order to reduce confusion all Asbury buses were repainted into Metro colors, but they continued to carry the Asbury Rapid Transit name.  The leased buses were re-lettered for their new operators, so that the Asbury name appeared for the first time on a diesel bus.

The proposed route changes were put into effect on August 29, 1955.  Metro Rt. 86 on Riverside Drive was revised and extended to replace Asbury Rt. 13 and the St. Joseph’s Hospital leg of 19.  Use of the Hollywood terminal was discontinued, with the Culver City and Lockheed lines through-routed and combined into new Rt. 22 from Hollywood and La Brea to Burbank via Universal City and Olive Avenue.  Through-routing the 14 and 18 lines at North Hollywood created a new Rt. 14 Burbank—North Hollywood—San Fernando, and the Victory Blvd. line (20) was extended to a new shopping center in Van Nuys.  Former PE lines were also revised: the North Hollywood—Studio City—Sherman Oaks line (B7) was cut back to Studio City except for school trips, and the North Hollywood line (88) was extended to Van Nuys via Van Owen Street.

Asbury’s San Fernando terminal was given up a year later, on August 20, 1956, and the lines terminating there were rerouted accordingly.  The Van Nuys--Reseda line (85) was extended to San Fernando, Northridge, L.A. State College and Granada Hills to offer an alternate routing to the direct line along Sepulveda Blvd. (84).


West Hollywood Division

Construction was started on the largest of the three proposed new operating bases on October 17, 1955.  The design was similar to Van Nuys and El Monte, and the location was 4½ acres bought from the Southern Pacific along San Vicente Blvd. West Hollywood, adjacent to PE’s old Sherman Carhouse.  The 132-bus garage was opened on July 16, 1956, and cost $515,000.  At Macy Street, new light towers were erected and modern paint spray booths installed during 1956.

Equipment purchases in 1956 consisted of 23 (not 100) buses.  Three TDM-4515s (200-202) with 41 reclining seats were assigned to the San Bernardino line, while 20 TDH-4801s (600-619) came earmarked for replacement of the Bellflower rail service.  When it became plain that this hope was not to be realized, and new buses were placed in operation on the experimental “Park-Ride-Flyer’’ route between the Hollywood Bowl parking lot and downtown Los Angeles, started with 400-series 4801s on November 26, 1956.  After averaging 40 to 100 autos a day over its contemplated 90-day trial period, the park-ride line was given the benefit of continued operation and expanded publicity in an attempt to bring traffic up to the breakeven point of about 2,000 riders per week.  It was doomed to failure since, like so many such services, it picked tip its riders at the end of the bottleneck (Cahuenga Pass in this case) rather than at the beginning.  Traffic leveled off at 100 passengers per week, and the service was discontinued on May 24, 1957.



Metro changed the headsign layout of its buses to a more common configuration in 1956 all the postwar GM’s (except 2700) which had been delivered with the two-piece PE signs were converted to the new one-quarter (curbside) and three-quarter (street side) layout.  The short sign displayed the route/branch designation (like 94 or 58W) and the long sign the destination, a town name or a street.

At his time the 2700, 2800, 2900, 251, 300, 400 and 500 series were changed over to the new signs and shortly thereafter, the prewar Yellows and GM's (2500s and 2600s) were also converted.  The Whites, whose limited life was recognized, and the 225 and 1685 series parlor coaches (which had half-size signs) were not converted.  The 600 and 200 series coaches, which arrived in that year, were delivered with the new layout


Rail Ownership

With no hope in sight of being able to substitute buses for the remaining rail lines.  Metro decided to buy the equipment and facilities needed to continue their operation.  The PUC approved sale of 78 interurban cars, seven pieces of work equipment the substations and the overhead by Pacific Electric to Metropolitan Coach lines on December 23, 1956.  Metro put $15,000 down toward the $525,000 purchase price, rationalizing the transaction by the fact that the company would now be paying less in interest charges than it previously had in rental fees.

The end of PE electric freight service spurred the decision on December 11, 1956 with the sole exception of night switching at West Hollywood, which was to last until January 1958.

Out in the San Fernando Valley, Asbury’s Burbank Blvd. line (19) was as extended into North Hollywood and the Riverside Drive line 86 was extended to Pacoima in 1957.  The Brentwood Branch of the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills line was again appended to the Wilshire route and designated 83B.  All San Bernardino and Riverside trips as well as peak-hour Pomona via Covina runs were routed via the San Bernardino Freeway on June 3, 1957.  At this time Metro and Asbury together owned 762 buses, including 36 propane Twins, 95 gasoline Whites and one gas Twin (2150).  Metro had replaced more than 200 inherited Whites, and in fact about 60 of the remaining 95 were spares or were in storage at Macy Street.  The remaining biases were, of course, all GM diesels.


Race Track Service

Metro inherited the Hollywood-Santa Anita and Holly wood-Hollywood Park lines from the Asbury Rapid Transit System and the Los Angeles Santa Anita service as part at PE’ s route 68.  Metro continued to expand these services as new rights from Los Angeles to Los Alamitos Race Track were received in February of 1955 and additional rights to Santa Anita from Santa Ana, Riverside and San Bernardino were received in July of 1957.  The racetrack services (grouped as route 57) were well patronized and primarily used suburban equipment drawn from the spares at each operating division.



The PUC finally permitted conversion of the Bellflower rail line in March 1957; the first application had been filed on December 12. 1955.  The decision included an employee compensation clause to which Metro objected; the case went to the California Supreme Court and the PUC was upheld, but Metro refused to change the line to buses until a more equitable labor agreement could be reached.  The company asked for an extension of the time limit for acceptance of the new certificate, expecting to settle the issue as part of negotiations for a new labor contract though the stated reason was a shortage of buses.

As it turned out, contract talks broke down as the old agreement expired on December 1, 1952 and the Metro system ground to a halt.  The only previous labor dispute that had affected these routes was the nationwide rail strike of 1946.  The walkout lasted 54 days, and the vote to accept a 21-cent wage increase and a five-day week was 511 to 490.  The strike lent impetus to a growing movement for legislative action to allow unified ownership and operation of the region’s transportation systems, thought necessary to provide more effective transit planning.

As of June 1, 1957, Metro and Asbury operated 53 bus lines totaling 1,315 route miles and four rail lines totaling 68 route miles.



The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority was created by the State legislature in 1951 to study- the feasibility of a monorail system in the Los Angeles area.  After years of study- with no tangible results, a bill was passed and signed in 1957 to enable the Authority to own and operate any form of transit system.

Only Metropolitan Coach Lines, with its subsidiary Asbury- Rapid Transit, and Los Angeles Transit Lines then remained as major local transit entities in the area.  LAMTA was given options to buy these properties for $33 million, and the underwriting of a $40 million bond issue was secured to accomplish the purchase.  On March 1958, Metro bought out Asbury as a matter of administrative and legal convenience, and on the same day all three systems passed to the Authority.  The purchase price of the Metro and Asbury operations was $13.6 million.

Despite his continued efforts, Jesse Haugh never succeeded in his quest for an all- bus Metro system.  When negotiations to sell were completed, all four Southern District rail lines were still operating, and 73 interurban cars went to LAMTA along with 822 buses, 60 of which were just being delivered.  The order consisted of 10 additional 41-passenger reclining seat TDM-4515s (203-212) and 50 more TDH-4801s (620-669).  When Metro’s operating rights were formally revoked by the PUC on August 26, 1958, the Pacific Electric bus story was brought to an end.