Foothill Extension 101 – A Layman’s Lecture by Bob Davis; and Arcadia’s Time to Shine

San Gabriel Valley resident, Foothill Extension fan #1, and rail aficionado Bob Davis was kind enough to give an entertaining layman’s rundown of the Foothill Extension (he also gave a history lesson last year) in the video below.

“Gold Line – it’s just what the doctor ordered!”

(link for you email subscribers:

Arcadia Gets Station Billboard Unveiling Tomorrow

Apparently the station billboard unveilings are happening in reverse-alphabetical order, as Arcadia and Azusa are the two remaining cities to get their station billboard unveiling celebrations (it went like this: Monrovia then Irwindale then Duarte).

Well, the City of Arcadia will be happy tomorrow as they finally get their turn to celebrate the future arrival of the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The event takes place tomorrow (February 10) morning – from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM (unveiling at 8:30) at Arcadia’s future station site at North First Ave and Santa Clara St, Arcadia, CA 91006. Arcadia’s residents, elected officials, and business leaders will be there, along with the Authority, to celebrate.

See you via light rail at the Santa Anita racetracks in a few years!


  1. Peter says:

    Is this a joke??

    Irwindale Station? – yeah, ONLY Miller Brewery employees will be able to walk to it, and even that walk will be a terrible one through huge parking lots and empty fields.

    Poor “North San Gabriel Valley” -they have to drive 3 miles to a Metrolink line! or a few more to yet another Metrolink line! Let’s get rail to all the Boondocks and empty fields east of Los Angeles BEFORE the central city/westside and south LA/LAX!!! Let’s build a line that will have the LOWEST ridership before we build ANYTHING that will have high ridership and benefit the most transit DEPENDENT people in the County. Stick to your cars and highways, Foothill Corridor.

    Just wait until everyone sees how long it takes for the Gold Line to travel from Montclair to downtown LA or Pasadena…

    Foothill = one of the biggest wastes of public money BY ANY STANDARD OR TECHNICAL ANALYSIS. Good thing we have greedy politicians to pursue this wasteful project as a priority for LA County when hundreds of thousands of people could benefit from a Wilshire Subway TODAY (not 50 years from now, when Irwindale will be the next ‘Century City’!)

  2. Albert says:

    Good to hear from you again Peter. It’s been a while.

  3. […] Foothill Extension 101 (I Will Ride) […]

  4. nobody says:

    I’m with Peter…there are many areas where rail need is much more significant than the foothill corridor. We probably should concentrate on those corridors first.

  5. Alan K. Weeks says:

    I am always amazed how worked up and sort of angry that anti rail people get. Peter is a good example. He seems to attack everything about the new Foothill Extension. Yes Irwindale does seem a spot where the station will be lightly used. I think it is the only weak station proposed. He then says that this line will have the lowest ridership of any. There is no way to predict that. The ridership maybe modest for a few years until people learn it is there and the advantages of Public Transit. Rail projects are built to last 100 years. The first phase ridership on the Gold Line has gone from 15,000 to almost 30,000 a day. Ridership may double when the line reaches Azusa. We in the SGV area deserve our fair share of Prop R money. I think he lives on the West Side and is only interested in the Purple Line Subway.

  6. Nathanael says:

    The trouble is that the the Foothills really need local transit connected to Metrolink stations. A verrry looong Gold Line trip with frequent stops is not the ideal; a line with less frequent stations, faster trains, and an express run from Pasadena to LA would be much more effective. Or a Gold Line which interconnected to the existing Metrolink line every so often….

    Remember, the route of the Foothills Extension was originally a long-distance rail line.

    This is the trouble with transit planning based on the “Well, we have this right-of-way lying around here” principle. The Foothill Corridor is long enough that light rail transit is not the best way to serve it (even the Blue Line in LA actually should have a parallel, connected express route).

  7. Nathanael says:

    One edit to what I just said: the Pomona connection to the Metrolink station makes the Foothill extension *much* better than it would otherwise be, and in the long run when Metrolink starts running more frequently I would expect people to go east from Pasadena to . Unfortunately the design appears to make it difficult to double-track the Metrolink line east of Pomona later, which is *bad* as that Metrolink line is going to become very very busy….

  8. I don’t see Peter as being anti-rail at all. I see him being anti-Foothill extension. While I think it is a good idea to get the line built, I also see that other areas need it more. I doubt there will be a large amount of people using the line to get to Los Angeles. It would be too slow. Most would be using it for intermediate points. As much as I’d like to see rail transit again in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, I’d much rather see rail transit again built sooner through central Los Angeles. That will draw more ridership to the rest of the system far more than the Gold Line extension would.

    The other option would be to reduce the stations on the Gold Line and increase speeds.

  9. Joel C says:

    While I do not think the Foothill Extension is without value, I do think there are projects that are much more urgent in this County. Yes, the ROW already exists intact: that’s great. And I have no doubt it will be a very scenic route. But how many people will actually ride this, on a daily basis?

    Alan Weeks said: “He [Peter] then says that this line will have the lowest ridership of any. There is no way to predict that.”

    Of course there is: the EIR contains ridership models that use well-established methodologies to predict ridership.

    I want Metro to build a system that functions well to move lots of people through modern-day L.A. In my opinion, the reminiscences of a railfan about his childhood memories of trains and Jack Benny do not make a very persuasive argument in favor of building this line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *