Construction of the L Line (formerly the Gold Line) light-rail extension from Glendora to Pomona is 50% finished, a milestone celebrated by dozens of supporters Friday in San Dimas.
The 31-mile-long train line, extending from Azusa to eastern Los Angeles via Pasadena and Downtown LA, will add a 9.1-mile extension to Pomona beginning in January 2025, making it 40.1 miles long, the longest Long operating light-rail line. LA Metro System.
Completely built during the pandemic, completing halfway was not the achievement of Habib Balyan, chief executive officer of Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority. “The worldwide pandemic is not going to stop this train,” he said during his remarks in front of about 150 people.
The expansion will include four new stations in Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas and Pomona, and 21 grade crossings, as well as 19 new or renovated bridges – including a new concrete bridge in San Dimas that will serve as the backdrop for Friday’s proceedings. works.
More than a dozen supporters from the cities, Sacramento and Washington D.C. praised the project, with many also talking optimistically about the addition of the 3.1-mile Pomona-to-Montclair section, the first L.A. to reach San Bernardino. There will be a county light-rail line. County line in Montclair.
That part – once included in the building plan – has fallen through without funding and is no longer under the builder’s contract. Reviving it would require a fund transfer of about $748 million from the state, as well as either a new contract or an extension of an existing one.
While Governor Gavin Newsom announced a budget surplus of $98 billion last month, including about $5 billion for transit projects, the LA Metro’s or construction authority’s hopes of tapping the surplus for the Pomona-to-Montclair line It was foggy like the weather on Friday.
After speeches and loud talk, a Bon Jovi song depicted progress and also the fading hope that the twin cities of Clermont and Montclair would get a light-rail train. Heard from the loudspeaker: “Wow, we’re halfway there. Whoa, livin’ on a prayer.”
Last year, the chance to get funding from the state slipped through the fingers of the San Gabriel Valley Caucus, who said budget negotiators could not agree on funding for statewide high-speed rail — and that could lead to increased funding for local rail projects. There is no hope. ,
On Friday, it was not a prayer, but a dream referred to by Assembly Member Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, when he was talking about pulling the train to Montclair. “I slept through the night and woke up in the morning with $748 million in mind,” he told the crowd.
Bad news came in 2019 when the price of Claremont’s work soared, he said. The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority has set aside about $90 million to move about a mile to Montclair Transcentre, a transit hub equipped to handle the train.
Acting like a football coach announcing a Super Bowl victory, he said with thunderous applause: “I guarantee we’ll get $748 million to complete this project to Montclair.”
Why is it so important to connect to the LA-based Light-Rail Trolley Inland Empire?
Numbers released by the LA Metro study said connecting the two stations would generate more than 50% of new ridership for an electric trolley line, while eliminating 53% of car trips and 60% of vehicle miles traveled. will be given. In total, the expansion to Montclair is expected to add 7,700 new L Line boardings on each weekday by 2028 and eliminate 14,900 car trips each day, mostly from the 210 and 10 freeways, the letter said.
For “IE” residents who work in LA, a transit line that comes in between every 7-10 minutes during peak times and 15-20 minutes at non-peak times, they are forbidden to leave their cars home. can. Transit officials said the train L Line corridor will become an alternative to the 3 million vehicular journeys performed every day in cities, of which only 3% are by transit.
The two cities, along with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Government, as well as state senators and assembly members from both cities, have been advocating for a cross-county line for decades as a way to connect commuters and weekend commuters more frequently. , a less expensive mass transit rail service that can remove cars from congested east–west freeways, such as the 10 and 210.
“The Gold Line is the most important project in our community,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, whose district includes the El Line cities of Azusa, Duarte, Monrovia, La Verne and San Dimas.
Montclair City Manager Edward Starr also said at the halfway point celebration that the city is planning for the project that was due in 2016, 2018, 2022 and 2024. If the second shot at state funding does indeed come, the rapid expansion could be completed by 2028, he said.
If the state says “no” again, Montclair is working on grabbing federal infrastructure dollars. He said federal law would require that federal funds be used on a state project. “I’m hearing positive hope. The governor hasn’t said ‘no,'” Starr said in an interview. He said state legislators such as Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge and Member of the Assembly Freddy Rodriguez, D-Pomona, have made it a top priority.
Supervisor Hilda Solis, LA Metro Board Chair, and Supervisor Katherine Barger, who is also a Metro Board member, both commented on the state’s budget surplus and potential funding for Claremont, Montclair stations. Solis said: “We need a lot of support from our state officials.”
Barger got a huge laugh from the audience when he said: “Our state representatives are sitting on a lot of money.”