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L.A. Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Opens Today

All Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Gold Line riders will enjoy complimentary rides on Saturday to celebrate the opening of the $1 billion, 11.5-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension in the San Gabriel Valley.
March 5, 2016, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Metro will provide complimentary rides on the entire Metro Gold Line light rail system Saturday, March 5, according to the South Pasadena Review. "Free rides will begin at 12 noon and will last until midnight."

The opening ceremony will be held at the Duarte/City of Hope Station"This will probably be one of the biggest events in our city’s history and also in the San Gabriel Valley," Duarte Councilwoman Margaret Finlay told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 

"It is one of six stations serving the new extension that is expected to carry around 10,000 passengers a day soon after the line opens," writes San Gabriel Valley Tribune reporter Steve Scauzillo in a series of articles for local media. "The other five stations are: Arcadia, Monrovia, Irwindale, Azusa (downtown) and Azusa Pacific University/Citrus College."

"With the foothill extension, the Gold Line will be 31 miles long, the longest light-rail in Los Angeles County, said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for Metro, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority," writes Scauzillo in an article titled, "Everything you need to know about the new Gold Line Foothill Extension."

The future of Southern California transportation on display Saturday

"[T]his isn’t just about transit in the San Gabriel Valley," asserts a compelling Los Angeles Daily News editorial on the opening of the extension. "For mass transportation in Southern California, this, as with every new puzzle piece put in place, is more about the future than it is about the present."

The editorial advocates for more extensions of the Gold Line "farther east into San Bernardino County, reaching Ontario International Airport and someday beyond...because the only way a regional rail transit system really works is for it to be so woven into the geography that there isn’t any question about the fact of connectivity..."

The Gold Line's ridership has been on the rise, writes Scauzillo:

The first Gold Line opened less two years after the 9/11 terror attacks. It gradually grew in popularity, starting at 11,000, then 22,000 and 46,608 riders per day on weekdays as of January of this year, according to the latest figures available from Metro. People who use it to get to and from work in Los Angeles. Some connect to the Metro subways, the Red and Purple Lines that go to downtown and Hollywood.

The Gold Line should provide an alternative to driving on the congested 210 freeway for many commuters, particularly for the 25,000 students attending Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University. The extension took five years to construct.

Hat tip to Metro Transportation Library.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 in South Pasadena Review
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