On January 7, 1963, local business and political leaders gathered at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in downtown LA to hear the executive director of the LA Metropolitan Transit Authority outline a plan for a rapid transit system and a prescient vision of a "smart card technology" not unlike Metro's TAP program. C.M. Gilliss advocated building a subway to Westwood by 1968, and described the smart card this way:

"[The rider] shows his individually coded credit card to the magic-eye fare computer, is admitted through the turnstile concourse and is taken by escalator quickly to the train platform. A computer-tabulating device will automatically record his entrance and his exit and he will be billed automatically for his total mileage at the end of the month."

Alas, it was determined that the agency had no power to levy taxes or buy property and didn't wield sufficient political influence to build broad support for a transit system. So the following year the state Legislature approved a bill by a senator from Beverly Hills to create the Southern California Rapid Transit District to find revenues to build a mass transit system.

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