Future of Claremont Metrolink station, exciting technology that is traffic cones, polar bears: HWR, Dec. 13

Metrolink supporters say: Don’t close Claremont station (Daily Bulletin)

A highly readable story on the public meeting was held in Claremont on Monday night to discuss a Metro Board motion calling for a study whether the Claremont Metrolink Station should be eliminated and replaced with a Gold Line station.

The reason: moving the Metrolink station to accommodate the Gold Line station would cost about $40 million and the Gold Line project has a $279 million shortfall.

Excerpt:

As several speakers said, Claremont voted for Measure M, the L.A. County transit tax, in good faith to get the Gold Line light-rail line. And now it was as if the city were being penalized by having its other rail option taken away.

“What you’re proposing is not what I voted for,” Mark von Wodtke said.

As the story makes clear, the crowd was big and no one who testified supported getting rid of the Metrolink station. L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Boad Member Hilda Solis, who also authored the original motion, has said that losing the station is “unacceptable.”

L.A. Council approves development fee to raise money for affordable housing (LAT)

The fee is expected to raise about $100 million a year for affordable housing projects. With nearly everyone agreeing the city has a housing crisis, that’s a significant amount — but it’s hard to say how many affordable units will result.

In a recent op-ed in the Times, critics of the linkage fee said it would only result in 225 units annually and there are better ways to produce affordable housing.

Obviously a contentious issue. The hope here is that one way or another, more people will be able to live near transit lines.

Video of starving polar bear ‘rips your heart from your chest’ (NYT)

It started with this Instagram post by famed nature photographer Paul Nicklen. The problem for polar bears is disappearing sea ice as the Arctic warms rapidly due to climate change.

Want to do something about it? Generally speaking, taking transit instead of driving alone is a good way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Alaskan North Slope climate change just outran one of our tools to measure it (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

A U.S. government computer refused to believe high temperatures in the Arctic because temperatures were never supposed to be this high. Seriously.

Boston tests faster bus service simply by laying out orange cones (Streetsblog)

Headline speaks for itself. A set of eight 28-inch traffic cones goes for $162 on Amazon, btw.

Can the Affluent Be Convinced to Ride Transit in Delhi? (Citylab)

Excerpt:

“Delhi is very much a city that’s aspirational … that’s very aware of upward mobility and status and class,” said Mukta Naik, who focuses on urban planning at the Centre for Policy Research, a leading Indian think-tank. “But at the same time, [people] also see the car as the most convenient way to get from Point A to Point B. … Until we reach a point where we cannot get from point A to Point B without public transport, we’re going to be like this.”

Attentive Source readers will surely recall the UCLA study we posted Monday that showed that car ownership in our area is way, way up — and thus transit ridership is down.

 

22 replies

  1. Have they ever considered integrating Metrolink into Metro? Metrolink is much more expensive than Metro that I just don’t want to use it. It would be nice if you can use both systems for $1.75 one-way without transfers. They can also extend the Greenline to Metrolink in Norwalk so passengers can reach Anaheim without going to Downtown LA.

    • Sadly, you’re gonna have to convince the 5 other counties to agree with you on that, even if theoretically speaking? Also, Metro Rail and Metrolink serve 2 different types of regular riders. I much rather pay $10 to ride a train straight to Clairemont & Montclair, than pay $1.75 for a train that has to through Pasadena and Arcadia first.

  2. Speaking as someone who used to ride a train to school, having a stop nearby is a huge advantage. With Claremont, you’ve got several nearby campuses. I can imagine there’s a good number of students who’d prefer Metrolink to driving or taking the bus (or a shuttle from a more distant station). While some of them might settle for driving if the train were made inconvenient, that would be a big step backward for public transit.

  3. To keep the Gold Line Extension closer to budget, could it be built in two stages… first to Pomona. Then, when funds become available, eventually to Montclair (assuming SANBAG puts in its share)?

  4. Losing the Metrolink station in Claremont would be an absolute mistake. Most other Metrolink stations require a longer walk or transfer to a bus/bike/car to get to the final destination or commercial area of the city. In the case of Claremont, everything is right there. I am glad to see that opponents of the proposed elimination came out to make their voices heard. Despite the added costs, it is absolutely doable to fit both Metro and Metrolink together into the space, even if the platforms need to be moved to east of College Avenue.

  5. If only Metro could just cone off certain congested corridors and do the same thing- a handful of streets would benefit from experimental bus lanes. I swear though, even temporary changes would be blown up by nimbys.

  6. Linking the Metro and Metrolink systems at Claremont sounds as sensible idea as I’ve heard. I had assumed it would be a intermodal station similar to BART-Caltrain in Millbrae.

    • But I think it will be linked again at Montclair, probably just a 3 minute light rail ride as it is only several hundred feets away.

      I feel that the issue is that Metro has not assured everyone that Gold Line will be extended to Montclair. Train is not supposed to have stops that close, and it is reasonable for people to connect to light rail / buses

  7. Metrolink and Metro GL both provide necessary service but on different routes.
    Two options should be examined to either a) defer construction of the Claremont GL platforms OR b) to remove the Metrolink platform and defer the new platform construction.

  8. I thought the original plan was to move the station east of it’s present location (there is a large parking lot there). Move it but don’t eliminate it!

  9. Too bad they can’t wait until after the Gold Line is extended to Montclair to show how few people will still be using Claremont Metrolink Station. Of the 900 daily trips currently using that station, more than 70 percent go all the way to LAUS or beyond. Even if the Claremont Station stays open, more than half of those riders will switch to the Gold Line, either for the lower fare ($7.50 less), the more frequent service (7-12 minutes vs. 30 minutes peak and an hour or more off-peak) or for a one-seat ride into downtown with the regional connector.
    My guess is that Metrolink ridership at Claremont will drop to around 300-400 per day when the Gold Line extension is completed. Not quite worth the $40M investment, especially since most of those riders drive to Metrolink and wouldn’t suffer much from driving to Montclair instead.

    • Actually, more than a third of the station users take Metrolink to Claremont and then walk to their destination. So driving isn’t a viable option.

        • According to the proposal, there would be neither Gold Line nor Metrolink from 2021 to 2027. Six years with no train service at all is a very long time.

    • You assume that the fare difference today will remain in place in 10 years. And you assume that everyone travels to Los Angeles for work each day. The issue isn’t shall all trains stop, but will they be able to stop. Operationally, the Gold Line/A-Line may not always run to San Bernardino County, and certainly won’t if SB County does not fund its construction *and* operation. If that’s the case, there will be a need for a transfer station between the lines.

      There are platforms at Fontana Speedway and Pomona Fairplex that get used once a year. Is it so hard to build one at Claremont too?

  10. Maybe the residents of Claremont can raise the $40 millions to pay for the station. Acadia and the City of LA both came up with tje $$$ for something they wanted but Metro didnt have the $$$ for it.

    • Why for? I’m actually with Clairemont on this one. They were told they would get to have 2 stations now they somehow have to come with the $40 million? How about whomever couldn’t come up with the correct number puts on the extra $40 million. It’s always the same excuse almost every time with every project. Either the number is overinflated or it’s not inflated enough. Let Metro, not the citizens of Clairemont figure out how to come up with the extra money.

      • The Gold Line bridge over Santa Anita Avenue is a new addition in Arcadia. The Santa Anita Bridge has been paid for by the citizens of Arcadia. The railroad crossing at Santa Anita ..

        The City of LA paid for the Lamert Park station.

        The residents of Claremont can raise the funds by a small transit tax if the City didn’t have the funds.

  11. How about a little of both: I am hearing that some of the Montreal built passenger train cars are being retrofitted to be battery powered.
    This mean they run on electric power but don’t need the expensive overhead electric wire infrastructure. This means the trains can run on existing old tracks and are much cheaper to operate.

    From time to time, the battery will need to charged, but to get some short distance routes, say Montclair to Azusa, there is already a local track used by a freight train, and things could get rolling fairly fast.

  12. Typos: “Metro Boad Member Hilda” instead of “Metro Board Member Hilda” and “laying our orange cones” instead of “laying out orange cones” (Mentioning this in case you want to correct. Please delete comment or leave in unmoderated state, I’m not submitting it hoping you’ll post it.)

  13. Wow… that cones article is amazing. You won’t get people out of their cars until they see the buses doing something they can’t do in their cars – get somewhere quickly. Protected bus lanes adjacent to cars is the way to do that.

  14. If the true reason for all this is to save money, then both SANBAG and LACMTA should eliminate BOTH Clairemont and Montclair stations and build a shared station right at the county line, paid by both counties.

    Also, why isn’t the Pomona station being taken into consideration, as I don’t see anyone complaining about 1) it will still share a station with Metrolink and 2) really not far from the La Verne station either?