The Class of 1982: The Coming of Better Transit in L.A.

Automobiles weren't the only ones affecting the universe in 1982.

In the years after World War II, the way Americans viewed transportation shifted to reflect an overall lifestyle migration from an urban society to metropolitan sprawl. Places that were once agrarian and bucolic became paved with new family housing units and expanding businesses supporting the new suburbs.

To coincide with this move, it was deemed that the current public transport infrastructure would not be the optimal solution for linking these new homes with places of employment. Somehow, the equation came up with money for roads – limited-access ones designed for automobile use, specifically – instead of laying down new streetcar rolling stock beyond a city's terminus. Instead, public transit sought to remove the old streetcar in favor of a bus in induce more flexibility in the transport system.

Buses supplanting streetcars was a drop in the bucket to what transpired during the postwar years. Automobile sales skyrocketed thanks to the suburban migration. To survive in the suburbs, you have to find a way to go from Point A to Point B. The automobile became the primary mode of transport in these new neighborhoods thanks to the G.I. Bill, affordable purchasing options, low insurance rates and very low fuel prices.

There were some consequences to the growth of the automobile.

Transit Buses 101: Who Makes 'Em?

When we commute, we don't care what we get onto to get us to our destination. We hop on, find a seat, plug into some device and hope nothing crazy happens next to us. If we have to stand, we hope that we are equally safe and secure.