Light Rail Extension Into the Inland Empire Faces Growing Opposition

The plan for the Gold Line Extension to Montclair in San Bernardino County has changed quickly. Now some want to throw out the idea completely.
January 6, 2019, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority via Metro

"A group of elected officials from throughout San Bernardino County want the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority to consider possible alternatives to a long-planned 12.3-mile extension of the commuter train from Glendora to Montclair, saying the extension could hurt public transit in other areas," reports Sandra Emerson.

This is the same Gold Line extension project that was recently split into two phases by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority after cost overruns overwhelmed the original construction plan.

A letter sent to Gold Line officials by local, county, state, and federal officials focuses on the potential of the Gold Line extension to cannibalize ridership on the Metrolink commuter rail system. Ridership at the Covina Metrolink station has declined by 25 percent since a Gold Line station opened in March 2016 four miles to the north in the city of Azusa.

"If a similar reduction in ridership on the Metrolink San Bernardino Line occurs because of new Gold Line service, this would inevitably constitute a reduction in overall service for communities east of Montclair that do not have access to the new Gold Line option," reads the letter.

The letter was sent as part of the process of completing a supplemental environmental impact report, necessitated by the decision to split the extension project into two phases.

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Published on Thursday, December 27, 2018 in San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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