Since the early 1900's the master plan of mass transit has been fumbled throughout the greater Los Angeles area. According to Robert P. Sechler, "People have been talking about and planning rapid transit in the Los Angeles region for more than seventy-five years. In that span of time, twenty or so proposals have been generated - Sechler organized an overview of these twenty proposals into seven, sometimes overlapping "eras," and by focusing attention on the most important plans, it is possible to lead one rather quickly through a meaningful overview of what was, until a short time ago, Los Angeles's greatest non-success story- (Sechler 1). These seven era's: Private Capital, Grand Design, Intermodal Sketch Planning, Autopia, Futurism, The Second Coming of Grand Design, and Alternatives Analysis give us a brief history on the infamous demise of the mass transit in the city of angles. .
In today's society rail rapid transit is an immense public expense. Prior to this modern expense in the late 1800's to the early 1900's rapid transit lines were privately financed. "During this first era, "the era of private capital", Los Angeles itself came tantalizingly close to acquiring rapid transit at no cost to taxpayers- (Sechler 1-). During this time the southern pacific railroad purchased a trolley system called the Los Angeles Pacific Company. The company planned high-speed bypasses through Hollywood to downtown. This project started in 1907 but was short lived. Due to the financial panic of 1907 funds for this project were cut off and construction was shut down forever. "Thereafter, private financing of rapid transit was more the exception than the rule, although electric railways remained a booming business for many years to come- (Sechler 1). Four years later, "the great merger- took place bringing about the fusion of several trolley companies. These mergers dawned the birth of the famous "red car- system.