Potential ballot measure: what you need to know about the Gold Line extension to Claremont – The Source

The following article appeared on The Source on April 13, 2016.

Potential ballot measure: what you need to know about the Gold Line extension to Claremont – The Source


By Steve Hymon

April 13, 2016

One in a series of posts that will look at projects and programs that would receive funding from the potential sales tax ballot measure that Metro is considering. 

What is it? An 11-mile extension of the Gold Line from the APU/Citrus College Station in Azusa to Claremont including five new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. (See below for more about a potential Montclair station).

The Gold Line stations in Pomona and Claremont would be adjacent to stations on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line, providing a good transit connection between the Foothill Cities and destinations in San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. Future stations are walking distance to the Claremont Colleges, University of La Verne, the Los Angeles County Fairplex, among other destinations.

The project would include at least four new bridges over busy streets (Route 66 and Lone Hill Avenue in Glendora, Towne Avenue and Garey Avenue in Pomona; a few others are being evaluated) and about two dozenstreet-level rail crossings.

Travel time between Claremont and East Pasadena is estimated to be about 30 minutes. We already know there is considerable demand for transit within the San Gabriel Valley. A recent Metro survey found that 57 percent of riders using the Gold Line extension to Azusa are traveling to/from Pasadena.

When would it be complete? The draft spending plan by Metro staff calls for a groundbreaking in 2019 and target completion date of 2025 to 2027 (the spending plan provides three-year ranges for completion of projects).

Who would build it? The  Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, an independent agency created by the state to oversee planning and construction of the Gold Line between Union Station and the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority has completed the required environmental studies for the project and is now in the advanced engineering phase.

Will there be parking at the stations? Yes, parking is planned for each station:

• Glendora Station – new parking structure: 400 spaces

• San Dimas Station – new parking structure: 450 spaces

• La Verne Station – new parking structure: 600 spaces

• Pomona Station – new parking structure: 750 new spaces (shared with Metrolink)

• Claremont Station – new parking structure: 1,260 spaces (shared with Metrolink)

Station parking facilities in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona would require land acquisitions, according to the Construction Authority.

What about extending the line to Montclair? Metro funds projects within Los Angeles County. The Construction Authority included Montclair in its environmental studies of the project, but Montclair is in San Bernardino County and extending the Gold Line there would require funding from San Bernardino County. The same goes with extending the Gold Line to Ontario Airport, a project that has been publicly discussed by officials and media.

Metro’s potential ballot measure calls for a half-cent sales tax increase for 40 years and an 18-year extension of the existing Measure R sales tax, with both running through 2057. Metro staff have also proposed 45- and 50-year alternative plans to include more projects and funding for programs. Here’s a previous post about (and including) the draft spending plan for the ballot measure. Community meetings begin this week: here’s the list. Please visit theplan.metro.net for more info and use the hashtag #metroplan when discussing on social media. 

The Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to consider the spending plan and whether to put the ballot measure before voters at their June 23 meeting. 

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