For a time during the 1970s, Los Angeles operated a small fleet of public buses to carry beach-crazed kids from the distant valleys of San Fernando and Pasadena to the cowabunga sands of Santa Monica. The Los Angeles Transportation Library website tells it:
Back in 1974, June got off to a very splashy start for the Southern California Rapid Transit District.
The RTD launched its summer “Street Fleet on four new bus lines (605, 606, 607 and 608) to carry people from different parts of Los Angeles County to Santa Monica.
The motorcoaches were specially decorated to look like submarines, painted battleship gray along with bright blue waves to create the appearance of churning through the ocean as they rolled down the street.
The fleet was even decked out with conning towers on top to replicate housing of periscopes to reinforce the nautical theme.
The June 18 issue of the RTD employee newsmagazine Headway described the service as “four summer ‘life preservers’ to kids who live in the inland areas of Los Angeles County, running seven days a week for the “93-day summer beach season.”
Line 605 picked up its “crew members” throughout the San Fernando Valley, Line 606 served Pasadena and Altadena, Line 607 departed from East Los Angeles, and Line 608 carried riders from Compton and Watts.
Note also: Surfboards were permitted on the bus!
This promotional video from 1974 really clinches the package. Sing along:
Hat Tip: BLDGBLOG