Today's transit service in the San Fernando Valley derives from the grid system set up by the RTD in March of 1975. Prior to then, service had been laid out haphazardly, with new lines overlaid onto the service map as development occurred. This resulted in most lines operating in "dogleg", "jigsaw puzzle", or other odd configurations, with very few lines operating end-to-end on a single street for their entire route length.
The 1975 grid -- the first comprehensive restructuring in the San Fernando Valley -- took advantage of the Valley's geography. With few exceptions, major arterials are spaced one mile apart, with north-south streets running in straight lines between Devonshire St. and Ventura Blvd., and east-west streets running across the Valley from Woodland Hills and Chatsworth to Sylmar and Burbank. The new grid laid a framework of long, properly spaced out lines across the length of these major arterials (and a few minor ones) and has, with tweaks and adjustments, remained the basis for all Valley bus service for more than three decades.
We have treated each major period of service changes independently, to provide the proper historical perspective, beginning with an overview of service in the years of privately owned systems and the eventual assumption of that service by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (the first MTA) in 1958. Another page deals specifically with the 1962 expansion of service by MTA; there are three pages covering the RTD years (one each to cover before and after the 1975 grid, and another covering the years leading up to its succession by the second MTA and the first year afterwards). Beginning with the San Fernando Valley Transit Restructuring Study in 1995, each major restructuring program has its own page with individual pages for proposals and changes during that program. Separate pages covering the history of municipal services in Burbank, Glendale, and Los Angeles (LADOT) are also provided.
The history pages are set up so that clicking on the "next page" arrow at the bottom of each page will take you through all of the pages in sequential order. This allows for reading the entire history in chronological order, beginning with 1951 and continuing to the present day.
A line-by-line overview of Valley service, from 1904 to the present, is found on our separate matrix page. The matrix is designed with "jump" links to allow tracking of service along specific streets and routes.
(Note: On many of the history pages, some system maps are sized wider than the screen, making it necessary to scroll left and right to view the complete map; this was done because reducing the display width to fit the screen without scrolling made street names, line numbers, etc. unreadable. We have therefore opted for the larger size rather than lose displayable content.)
Because every rapid transit proposal that involved some type of rail would have included the San Fernando Valley, we have included the history of the region's proposals for rail transit over the past 75+ years: