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The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?




Pacific Electric Railway Company streetcar crossing the Los Angeles River on the Glendale Line on April 17, 1952.
Pacific Electric Railway Company streetcar crossing the Los Angeles River on the Glendale Line on April 17, 1952.
Alan Weeks

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Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the end of all streetcars in L.A., including the Red Car transit system, which ran on 1,100 miles of track. The story that most people believe about the end of the Red Car is that a car company bought it, dismantled it, and forced a dependency on freeways. But that isn't entirely accurate. 

Roman Mars and Eric Molinsky of 99% Invisible tell the real story about what happened to L.A.'s Red Car system.

Ride the last Red Car, Los Angeles, April 1961: