The following Editorial appeared in the San Bernardino County Sun on February 17, 2014.
Editorial: Good call not to lower Gold Line extension’s priority – San Bernardino County Sun
By Los Angeles News Group editorial board
February 17, 2014
Good for SanBAG for rejecting a subcommittee’s recommendation to give low priority to extending the Gold Line to Montclair.
The San Bernardino County Association of Governments acts as the county’s transportation agency. SanBAG’s Commuter Rail and Transit subcommittee last month recommended dropping the Gold Line light-rail extension to No. 3 on the agency’s list of rail construction priorities. First came the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, followed by plans to double-track portions of the San Bernardino Metrolink line.
After hearing criticism, especially from Montclair and Ontario officials, SanBAG’s board decided last week to improve the Gold Line extension’s priority — by doing away with the priority numbers altogether.
So now the three future projects have equal footing in terms of importance. That shouldn’t hurt the Redlands project — a 9-mile route from downtown San Bernardino to the University of Redlands — which is closer to construction and further along in identified funding than the Gold Line.
But it could keep the Gold Line extension from losing out on potential federal funds based on low prioritization by the local transportation agency.
The Gold Line Foothill Extension has enough obstacles to contend with in its slow march eastward. The San Bernardino County portion of the project certainly doesn’t need to be labeled a low priority by an agency that should be its champion.