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LA Metro's Gold Line Extension Is 'Opening Salvo in Transit Revolution'

Los Angeles Metro’s 11.5-mile Gold Line extension, dubbed “the opening salvo in L.A. County’s transit revolution” by board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, has extended the Metro Rail system from 87 miles to 98.5 miles and made the Gold Line the longest in the system, covering more than 31 miles from East Los Angeles to Azusa.

“Metro is proud to deliver another 12 miles of rail service to our region’s transportation system. With our eyes on the future, we know we still have a lot more work to do as we continue to transform transportation across the region,” said Chief Executive Officer Phillip A. Washington at opening ceremonies March 5. “But we are already building more rail lines that will open in the next decade. This is just the beginning.”

Metro estimated that some 30,000 riders and more than 100 elected officials from Washington, DC, Sacramento and local cities participated in opening-day activities, which included parties, live music, booths hosted by area businesses, food vendors and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A second phase of the Gold Line extension, currently in the engineering and design phase, would continue the route for another 12 miles, from Azusa to Montclair.

The $1 billion extension includes six new stations, providing access to hospitals, universities and the Santa Anita Racetrack, among other employment, shopping and recreational destinations. All the stations offer intermodal park-and-ride facilities with a combined total of more than 1,500 parking spaces, along with connections to local bus lines and bicycle parking facilities.

The extension is the first rail project funded by county Measure R sales tax proceeds. Other Measure R projects now under construction include the Crenshaw/LAX Line that will connect Metro Rail with Los Angeles International Airport, the Regional Connector Project to tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold lines in downtown Los Angeles, the Purple Line Extension that will extend subway service to Westwood and the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica scheduled to open May 20.

John Fasana, board first vice chair and Duarte council member, said the extension “will act as a much-needed relief valve for busy 210 freeway traffic. The great cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa and the entire San Gabriel Valley have all championed this line from the very beginning. I’m glad to see our cities’ vision realized as Metro continues to expand transit throughout Los Angeles County.”

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority constructed the line on time and on budget, turning it over to Metro last fall.

Passengers on the new extension also can experience an online audio tour of its artworks here.

L.A. Metro also recently introduced “NoHo to Pasadena Express” pilot bus service to connect major public transit lines in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys—the Metro Red/Orange lines in North Hollywood and the Metro Gold Line in Pasadena—along with limited stops in Burbank and Glendale.

The new service uses the carpool lanes on the main freeway between the two valleys, operating seven days a week with high frequency: every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak periods.

Metro will operate the line as a six-month pilot project, after which the agency will review ridership and determine if the service requires any changes. The line is expected to carry at least 1,750 riders daily.

Crowds line up to board on opening day at the Metro Gold Line's Monrovia Station.

Photo by Peter Watkinson/Metro

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