SAN PEDRO, Calif. — February 21, 2007 — Ridership on the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line surpassed 100,000 riders in 2006 a record for the three-year-old, 1.5-mile rail line that connects the Los Angeles World Cruise Center with the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Ports O’ Call Village, and  downtown San Pedro. 

The Port of Los Angeles restored the historic Pacific Electric Red Car in 2003 and constructed two additional replica cars, ending a more than 40-year cessation of Red Cars operating in Los Angeles.   The cars operate Friday through Monday and when cruise ships are in port.  Since 2003, the number of passengers who ride the Waterfront Red Car Line has grown more than 140 percent, with an average passenger count of 426 per day in 2006. 

“People love to ride the Red Cars,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.  “When we decided to fully-restore an original 1911 Pacific Electric Car and introduce two replica cars, it was part of the Port’s larger vision of attracting visitors to the waterfront and linking them to local businesses.  We achieved both.”

Red Cars were the popular form of public transportation for Southern Californians in the early to mid-20th Century.  Rail lines connected Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  It was not uncommon for families to use the rail lines to visit San Pedro and Cabrillo Beach for a day of fun and relaxation.  The system closed in 1961.

 The number of passengers riding the rail line has consistently risen since its inception in 2003.  The rail line opened with 43,537 riders in its first year.  That number jumped to 85,102 in 2004 and 94,543 in 2005.  One factor for the increase in riders is attributed to the rail line’s friendly and informative staff, who make the ride enjoyable and educational.  Passengers often return to ride the red car with family and friends.

“Best idea we have seen at any port around the country,” said Tom Coyle of Ontario, Canada.  “Happy employees and a great price!”

“The staff was pleasant and informed,” said Lowell Galambos of Newberg, Ore.  “The replica cars are impeccably finished.  A nice throwback to the stories we heard from dad during World War II.”

The rail line operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday through Monday, and on select days when cruise ships are in port.  The fare is $1 for unlimited daily rides.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006.  The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port.  A brighter future.