What’s the plan for opening day on Saturday?
Merriment, joy, feasting and song, I hope. I’ve been writing about this project for the better part of a decade and once upon a time, this day seemed unlikely to happen. And now it is happening, thanks to the dogged work of many Foothill community members.
Service on the new extension will begin at high noon. Rides will be free on the entire Gold Line from noon until midnight. There are also community parties at five stations on Saturday. All the details are here.
Let’s hope the weather holds. Our friends at the Weather Service have been amending the forecast the past few days. Current prediction: a slight chance of showers before 4 p.m.
How long will it take to ride from Azusa to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles?
It will be about 48 to 49 minutes from Union Station to the APU/Citrus College Station in Azusa (and vice versa). It’s a 33-minute ride between Union Station and Arcadia, 36 minutes to/from Monrovia, 40 minutes to/from Duarte/City of Hope, 44 minutes to/from Irwindale and 46 minutes to Azusa Downtown.
What happens on Sunday?
Regular service begins. Trains will operate on a Sunday schedule (see the timetable above). And you get to pay to ride!
How long did it take the streetcars to run from Azusa to downtown L.A.?
About 72 minutes but the streetcars took a different route — see this post for more about San Gabriel Valley rail history.
How to pass the time on train rides?
Staring at the pretty mountains is a fine choice — I don’t think there’s a transit project in America with finer views.
If looking for something to read, Metro also has some internet offerings. Our blog strives to let you know what’s going on at the agency and we try to avoid the usual government jargon/horsehockey. Metro is also on Facebook, Instagram and has two very busy Twitter feeds: one for general information and the other for service alerts.
Nextbus.com is also a handy way to check real-time Metro bus and train arrival info on your smartypants phone.
How do I get to the heart of downtown Los Angeles on the Gold Line?
At Union Station, go downstairs from the Gold Line platform and transfer to the Red or Purple Line subway (hint: it’s faster if you go right and use the subway entrance next to the Starbucks and Wetzel’s Pretzels).
If you’re trying to reach Staples Center, L.A. LIVE or the Convention Center, take the Red Line or Purple Line subway for five minutes to 7th/Metro Center and then go upstairs and transfer to either the Blue Line or Expo Line. Ride for one stop and exit the train at Pico Station.
You can also walk to those destinations from 7th/Metro. It’s a pleasant stroll and an exciting way to check out DTLA’s many new skyscrapers.
How frequently will trains run on the new section of the Gold Line?
At least every 12 minutes on weekdays — and then every 20 minutes after 8 p.m. On weekends, trains will run every 15 minutes for most of the day and every 20 minutes after 8 p.m. Again, see the timetable for specifics.
How late will trains run on the Foothill Extension tracks?
The times vary by station, but the last stop of the evening is roughly from 12:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and about 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Consult the timetable if you plan on stretching your evening activities long into the morning — and perhaps have a backup in case you miss the last train.
Will there be parking at the stations?
Each station will have free parking available on a first come, first served basis. See below.
What do you need to ride Metro trains or buses?
A TAP card, which resembles a credit or debit card. You can store daily, monthly or weekly passes on the card. Or you can load cash on the card — called stored value — and have fares deducted from the amount you load.
Some people say following the screen directions on the machines takes some getting used to. Prediction: you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
How much does it cost to ride?
The regular adult fare is $1.75. That includes two hours of free transfers in one-direction to any Metro bus or train — the two hours begin when you tap your card against a validator on a Metro bus or at a Metro Rail station. (A validator is the thing that says ‘tap’ on it).
Two hours, by the way, is plenty of time to travel to places such as Long Beach, Culver City, Santa Monica (after the Expo Line extension opens May 20) or Hollywood. Granted, some of these are long transit trips. But you can’t beat the $1.75 regular price….
Does Metro offer discounts?
Yes. There are daily, weekly and monthly passes, as well as discounts for students, seniors, the disabled and Medicare recipients. Here’s the current list of fares — and check out some of the discounts in the three righthand columns:
Should I buy a monthly pass or use stored value?
The monthly passes ($100) are best for those who use Metro very frequently. Stored value is better if you’re just traveling to and from work five or six days a week.
What about kids — does my infant need to carry a TAP card in his diaper?
For goodness sake, no! Two children age four and under ride free with each fare-paying adult on bus or rail. Metro loves children — they’re our future riders.
Which bus lines can I use to reach the new Gold Line stations?
This is where you may need to do some planning. Google Transit and Apple Maps are both good tools to plan transit trips, btw.
Below are the bus lines that connect with the new stations. Click on the links for timetables and maps.
Arcadia: Metro Line 79, Metro Line 487, Foothill Transit 187 and Arcadia Transit, which will operate a free (until June) shuttle bus running between the Gold Line, Santa Anita Park, Methodist Hospital, Westfield Mall and the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
Irwindale: Foothill Transit 185.
Here’s the skinny on the shuttle to/from Arcadia Station:
And here’s the new maps and timetables for Duarte Transit’s Blue Line and Green Line buses, both of which are free and will connect to the Gold Line’s Duarte/City of Hope Station:
What about the new NoHo-Pasadena Express bus?
Service began this week. You can transfer from the Gold Line to the express bus at Del Mar or Memorial Park stations in Pasadena (if you’re coming from the Foothill Cities, it’s faster to use Memorial Park).
The fare for the Pasadena-NoHo bus is $2.50 because this is an express bus that uses the freeway. If transferring from the Gold Line to the NoHo-Pasadena Express, there is an additional 75 cent upcharge — pay using your TAP card. If transferring from the NoHo-Pasadena Express to the Gold Line, there is no transfer charge.
Everything you need to know about the NoHo-Pasadena Express bus is here.
What about transferring to/from Foothill Transit?
Transfers from Foothill Transit cost 50 cents. You can purchase them by asking for a transfer when boarding a Foothill Transit bus. More info on their fare page. The Foothill Transit base fare is $1.25.
Likewise, a transfer from Metro to Foothill Transit also costs 50 cents. You can purchase transfers at any TAP vending machine at Metro Rail stations.
How far of a walk is it to Santa Anita Park from the Arcadia Station?
About 3/4 of a mile if you don’t feel like using the Arcadia bus shuttle. It’s a flat and pleasant stroll that this Government Blogger has personally tested.
Tip: Santa Anita Park offers free general admission on Thursdays and Fridays.
How far of a walk is it from Monrovia Station to Old Town Monrovia?
About one mile, the easiest route being straight north (toward the mountains) on Myrtle Avenue. Metro’s 270 bus and Foothill Transit’s 494 bus can be used. Check the bus schedules for service times and schedules.
When will Gold Line service be restored to Little Tokyo and Pico/Aliso stations?
Later this month, assuming the current schedule holds. The two stations are closed to trains for Regional Connector construction. A bus shuttle is running between Union Station and Pico/Aliso with trains running between Pico/Aliso and East Los Angeles. More here.
Can I ride my bike to the new stations?
You bet. Each station has bike racks and bike lockers. The lockers at the new stations are available to rent online — they’ll soon be listed here.
Need help finding a good route? The Metro bike map may be of assistance.
Yes, at all hours. Keep in mind that it can get crowded at peak hours. Please enter the train at the doors with the bike, stroller and suitcase icon stickers as seen at right. Be chill/dope/cool/courteous and don’t block aisles or get someone’s dress/suit caught in your bike chain.
More tips for taking bikes on Metro buses and trains are here.
How do I connect to the San Gabriel River Bikeway from the train?
Not as easily as we’d like.
Duarte is working on a paved connection from the Duarte/City of Hope Station to the bikeway within the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. That will be a great option in the future.
Until then, other options involve riding on some busy roads that also have considerable truck traffic. Plan accordingly.
For those new to these parts, the bikeway follows the San Gabriel River from the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon all the way to Long Beach.
When will the segment of Citrus Avenue between Foothill Boulevard and the APU/Citrus College Station be completed?
Hopefully over the summer — a local developer is responsible for building the road. The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority will run shuttle buses between Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University while school is in session to help students reach the station. More background on this issue here.
How much did the Gold Line extension project cost?
About $1 billion of your sweaty, hard-at-work tax dollars. The bulk of the funding came from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.
This is the first Measure R funded rail project to open, btw.
Are there good views of the line from the operator’s cab?
You decide. My colleague Anna Chen’s handiwork:
Is taking the train good for Mother Earth?
Generally speaking, taking transit instead of driving alone is a way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. That’s because transit can carry a lot more people efficiently.
When will the Gold Line be extended to Claremont?
The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority — the independent agency created by the state to build the project — completed the environmental studies for this segment in 2014 and is now working on engineering and design.
Next is the hard part: this segment still needs to be funded. More info here from the Construction Authority.
There has also been occasional talk about extending the Gold Line to Ontario. At this time, environmental studies would need to be completed and funding secured from San Bernardino County. Metro is an L.A. County agency.
What other connections can I make using Metro Rail?
The latest map — with the new Gold Line stations — is below.
Keep in mind that the Expo Line to Palms, West L.A. and Santa Monica opens on May 20. That’s pretty soonish and will be in time to enjoy Second Summer.
Three other projects are under construction:
•The Purple Line Extension that will take the subway to the Miracle Mile, downtown Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood. The project is being built in three segments; the first to Wilshire/La Cienega is scheduled for completion in 2023.
•The Regional Connector project will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines with a 1.9-mile underground tunnel in DTLA. That will allow Gold Line riders from the Foothill Cities to ride directly to the heart of DTLA without having to transfer to the subway at Union Station.
•The Crenshaw/LAX Line will run between the Expo Line and the Green Line. It will include a station near LAX where riders will transfer to an airport train serving the LAX terminals. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is scheduled for completion in 2019. The city of L.A. is building the airport train and officials have said that could be done by 2023.