METRO BOARD MOTION –
PROPOSED STUDY OF CLAREMONT METROLINK STATION
Statement by Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Chairman, Doug Tessitor:
The recent motion by Metro Directors Solis, Barger, Najarian and Fasana to study the possible benefits and impacts associated with eliminating the Claremont Metrolink station and system is well-timed and important.
Knowing the results of the Claremont-specific analysis in the next few months will afford appropriate time to build consensus for any recommended changes and receive necessary approvals in advance of the procurement package being finalized for the Foothill Gold Line’s Alignment design-build contract. Any changes to the Claremont Metrolink station or track system directly impact the Foothill Gold Line project, which includes relocating the Claremont Metrolink station and tracks, and building a large shared parking structure, as part of the $1.4 billion project.
In order to integrate any changes to the Metrolink system that might be recommended and approved into the Foothill Gold Line project – without costing taxpayers significant money in change-orders – the information must be included in the procurement package that will be provided to the bidding teams early next year. Having that information in the next few months will allow the Construction Authority the time we need to incorporate any approved changes into the package.
The Metro Directors understand that the Construction Authority is on schedule to break ground on the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair later this year. While the first contract to be awarded, for utility relocation, will not be impacted by the results of the Claremont Metrolink station analysis, the Alignment design-build contract will. The process to hire the Alignment design-builder will begin in October 2017. The time available to make big changes to the project without significant cost ramifications is quickly coming to a close. We thank them for their leadership on this issue.
Los Angeles County Metro’s Regional Rail Department is proposing a 12-15 month, $750,000 comprehensive study of Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line and the future Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair. The purpose of the study is “to perform a comprehensive evaluation of both the existing Metrolink commuter rail service and future Metro Gold Line light rail service to proactively develop a toolbox of strategies that would enable the two rail services to complement each other, and to adjust to changing demands from the introduction of the Metro Gold Line service further east.”
As part of the proposed study, Metro staff is planning on reviewing four different station location scenarios for the three future co-located station areas in Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. According to the staff report, the station location options to be studied are: (1) stations remain co-located (as planned in the Foothill Gold Line project), (2) relocate Metrolink Station(s), (3) eliminate Metrolink Station(s), and/or (4) designate transfer station(s) between the two rail services.
During this week’s Metro Planning and Programming Committee Meeting, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis introduced a motion (co-authored by County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian and Duarte Mayor Pro-Tem John Fasana) that would advance the Claremont station location analysis only, and provide results and recommendations to the Metro board in the next two months, ahead of the full study being completed.
About the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority – The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature to plan, design and build the Metro Gold Line light rail system from Union Station to Montclair, along the Foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The agency completed the first segment from Union Station to Pasadena in 2003 and the Pasadena to Azusa segment in 2015; both on time and under budget. The agency began work on the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair in 2003. The Glendora to Montclair project was environmentally cleared in March 2013 under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and completed advanced conceptual engineering in 2016. Groundbreaking is set for December 2, 2017, with substantial completion anticipated in 2026. When completed, the extension will add new stations in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. Ridership on the extension alone is anticipated to exceed 18,300 boardings on weekdays by 2035.