The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership has written to urge our elected officials' support of the budget appropriation request of $748,000,000 to complete the shovel-ready, zero-emission Foothill Gold Line light rail project from Glendora to Montclair. The Foothill Gold Line is a project that will serve not only the San Gabriel Valley, but also the Southern California region by expanding transit opportunities for residents, workers, students and visitors of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties; extending light rail service through one of the most congested and smoggiest corridors in the nation.
At this time, the westernmost 9.1-mile, four-station segment of the project is under construction and is on track to be completed in early 2025. The current appropriations request represents the funding needed to complete the entire 12.3-mile, six-station project by 2028. This project is environmentally cleared, has completed extensive design, and is ready to go into construction if the funding shortfall is secured. It is truly shovel-ready.
The Foothill Gold Line light rail project has strong support at every level (community, local, state and federal) and its benefits to the region are significant. However, completing the currently unfunded final three-mile, two-station project segment to Claremont and Montclair is critical to realizing the majority of environmental and mobility benefits of the project overall:
- Completing the two final stations at Claremont and Montclair is expected to generate more than half of the six-stations’ ridership projections; eliminating 53% of the car trips and nearly 60% of the vehicle miles traveled expected overall.
- Extending the line to Claremont and Montclair is expected to add 7,700 boardings each weekday to the LA County Metro transit system in 2028; eliminating 14,900 car trips each day opening year.
- Trips from these two stations alone are projected to reduce 26.7 million vehicle miles traveled annually; eliminating an estimated 1.75 million MTCO2e over the life of the project.
- The public investment in the Foothill Gold Line continues to be a catalyst for private investment and much-needed housing within walking distance to transit:
- To date, more than $13 billion in private investment in residential and commercial development has occurred within 1⁄2-mile of a current and future station; with an estimated $9 billion in additional investment planned.
- Since 2003, 19,200 housing units have already been built around Foothill Gold Line stations, with an estimated 17,000 more housing units planned - more than 10,000 of the planned units are near the Claremont and Montclair Stations.
- Completing the Foothill Gold Line to Claremont and Montclair creates important direct connections:
- At Montclair, riders will have more than a dozen direct bus connections to destinations throughout the Inland Empire - and soon to outside of the region, with a new Amtrak stop.
- In Claremont, the station will connect thousands of students, faculty and staff traveling to and from the city’s 10 colleges.
The entire project to Montclair can be completed by 2028 if this funding request is approved during this budget cycle. This would allow light rail service to be extended to the fastest growing cities in the San Gabriel Valley and provide a sustainable and reliable alternative for the nearly three million trips being made each day within and through the Foothill Gold Line corridor cities - only 3 percent of which are currently made by transit.
Since embarking on the Foothill Gold Line, LA County taxpayers have invested more than $3 billion in this light rail system. This appropriation request would close the final funding gap and enable this important infrastructure system to be completed to its planned terminus, realizing its full environmental and mobility benefits for the region.
Signers on the letter of support include:
- Luis Portillo, President and CEO, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
- Randy Lopez, Executive Director, Claremont Chamber of Commerce
- Paul Little, President and CEO, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
- Joe Cina, President and CEO, Glendora Chamber of Commerce
- Shoshana Puccia, Executive Director and CEO, Duarte Chamber of Commerce
- Monique Manzanares, President and CEO, Pomona Chamber of Commerce
- Andrew Cooper, CEO, Arcadia Association of Realtors
- Steven A. Castro, CEO, Azusa Chamber Of Commerce
- Dawn Nelson, President and CEO, Covina Chamber of Commerce
- Bill Ruh, Government Affairs Director, Citrus Valley Association of Realtors
- Joanne McClaskey, Executive Director, Industry Business Council
- Silvia Melendez, CEO, San Dimas Chamber of Commerce
- Valarie R. Gomez, CEO, YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley
- Karen L Mac Nair, CEO, Arcadia Chamber of Commerce