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Light rail to Pomona ‘halfway there’ but proponents of extension to Claremont, Montclair ‘living on a prayer’ – Daily Bulletin

Construction of the L Line (formerly Gold Line) light rail stretch from Glendora to Pomona has been completed 50%, a milestone celebrated by dozens of supporters Friday in San Dimas.

The 31-mile train line, which runs from Azusa to East Los Angeles via Pasadena and Downtown LA, will add Extension 9.1 miles to Pomona starting in January 2025, making it 40.1 miles long, the longest light rail line in the LA Metro system.

Built entirely during the pandemic, reaching halfway was an achievement did not lose for Habib Balian, executive director of the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority. “The worldwide pandemic will not stop this train,” he told a crowd of about 150.

The extension will feature four new stations in Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas and Pomona, and 21 classroom crossings, plus 19 new or refurbished bridges – including a new concrete bridge in San Dimas that served as a backdrop for the proceedings. of Friday.

Gold Line Foothill Extension approved for Pomona. To get to Claremont and Montclair, more funds are needed. State lawmakers who asked the governor and state budget committees to fund the extension using the state dollar surplus were disappointed on September 9, 2021 when no bill was passed. But they will try again in 2022 when another state surplus emerges. Ed Reece from Claremont has just taken over as chairman of the Gold Line Construction Authority. His hometown, along with Montclair and the Building Authority, sent letters in February 2022 to the governor and state lawmakers seeking funding to complete the final section and reach San Bernardino County. (courtesy of Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority).
Gold Line Foothill Extension approved for Pomona. To get to Claremont and Montclair, more funds are needed. State lawmakers who asked the governor and state budget committees to fund the extension using the state dollar surplus were disappointed on September 9, 2021 when no bill was passed. But they will try again in 2022 when another state surplus emerges. Ed Reece from Claremont has just taken over as chairman of the Gold Line Construction Authority. His hometown, along with Montclair and the Building Authority, sent letters in February 2022 to the governor and state lawmakers seeking funding to complete the final section and reach San Bernardino County. (courtesy of Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority).

While more than a dozen supporters from cities, Sacramento and Washington DC praised the project, many also spoke with optimism about adding a 3.1-mile section from Pomona to Montclair that would be LA County’s first railroad to passed through San Bernardino. County line, in Montclair.

This part – once included in the construction plans – has fallen without funding and is no longer in the builder contract. It will need a $ 748 million state fund transfer to revive it, plus a new contract or an extension of the existing one.

As Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $ 98 billion budget surplus last month including about $ 5 billion for transit projects, hopes in the LA Metro or the Construction Authority to catch the surplus for the Pomona-on-Montclair line remained just as bleak. on Friday as the weather.

After quick speeches and conversations, a Bon Jovi song reflected progress and also the faded hope that the twin cities of Claremont and Montclair will take the light rail train. It was heard from the speakers: “Wow, we are halfway there. Woah, living in prayer. ”

Last year, the chance to win state funding slipped through the fingers of the San Gabriel Valley parliamentary group, which said budget negotiators could not agree on funding for the nationwide high-speed rail – and that dashed all hopes. to move funding to local rail projects.

On Friday, it was not a prayer but a dream that Chris Holden assemblyman D-Pasadena referred to when he said he had ever seen the train land in Montclair. “I went to bed at night and woke up in the morning with $ 748 million in my mind,” he told the crowd.

The bad news came in 2019 when Claremont’s work soared in price, he said. The San Bernardino County Transport Authority has allocated about $ 90 million to take it about a mile to Montclair TransCenter, a transit hub equipped to handle the train.

Acting as a football coach announcing a Super Bowl victory, he said with loud applause: “I guarantee we will get those $ 748 million to complete this project in Montclair.”

Why is an LA-based railcar associated with the Inner Empire so important?

Numbers published by an LA Metro study says adding two stations would generate more than 50% of new travel for the electric trolley line, eliminating 53% of car trips and 60% of vehicle mileage. In total, the Montclair extension is expected to add 7,700 new L-line rides every day of the week until 2028 and eliminate 14,900 car trips each day, mostly from Highways 210 and 10, the letters said.

For “IE” residents working in LA, having a transit line that arrives every 7-10 minutes during peak hours and between 15-20 minutes during off-peak hours can persuade them to leave their cars at house. The train will become an alternative to the 3 million vehicle trips made daily in the L-line corridor cities, of which only 3% are made in transit, transit officials said.

Both cities, along with the Council of Governors of the San Gabriel Valley, as well as state senators and Assembly members from both counties, have advocated for decades for the inter-county line as a way to connect travelers and travelers. of the weekend with a more frequent line. , less costly mass transit rail service that can divert cars from congested east-west highways, such as 10 and 210.

“The Golden Line is the most important project in our community,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, whose circle includes the L Line cities of Azusa, Duarte, Monrovia, La Verne and San Dimas.

Montclair city manager Edward Starr, also at the halfway party, said the city has planned for the project that was supposed to arrive in 2016, 2018, 2022 and 2024. If a second blow to state funding in fact it arrives, the fastest extension that can be completed is 2028, he said.

If the state says “no” again, Montclair is working to hijack federal infrastructure dollars. That would require federal legislation that allows federal money to be used in a state project, he said. “I’m hearing positive hopes. “The governor did not say ‘no,'” Starr said in an interview. He said lawmakers such as State Senator Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge and Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, have made it a top priority.

Supervisor Hilda Solis, chair of the Metro Board in LA, and supervisor Kathryn Barger, also a member of the Metro board, both commented on the state budget surplus and possible funding for Claremont, Montclair stations. Solis said: “We need a lot more support from our state officials.”

Barger laughed a lot at the public when he added: “Our state representatives are sitting on a lot of money.”

Light rail to Pomona ‘halfway there’ but proponents of extension to Claremont, Montclair ‘living on a prayer’ – Daily Bulletin Source link Light rail to Pomona ‘halfway there’ but proponents of extension to Claremont, Montclair ‘living on a prayer’ – Daily Bulletin

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