Gold Line Foothill Extension secures $6-million federal grant to build bus and pedestrian connections to future stations

Wow – some good news out of Washington D.C. for the Foothill Extension project, which will extend the current Gold Line from Pasadena for 11.5 miles to the Azusa/Glendora border. It’s great news because transit planners are always fretting — rightfully — on how to solve the “first mile-last mile” issue of getting people to and from rail stations.

Here’s the email from Habib Balian, CEO of the Foothill Extension Construction Authority:

FTA [Federal Transit Administration] officials have confirmed that a multi-year federal grant totaling approximately $6 million was appropriated for bus/pedestrian interface enhancements around the future Gold Line stations from Arcadia to Azusa by Congress. This latest grant was supported by federal Representatives David Dreier and Adam Schiff, and augments a previous $3 million grant to study how such enhancements would be integrated into the station areas. We thank Representatives Dreier and Schiff for supporting these opportunities for the project.

To date, the grant has resulted in a detailed study of the existing bus, bike and pedestrian routes around each of the future stations with the goal of supporting Gold Line riders arriving to the stations without the use of an automobile. The remaining funds will now be made available for design and construction of real improvements on nearby streets and other areas around the stations to enhance intermodal connections for future riders. These types of enhancements are aimed at improving the overall transit experience in order to make transit riders feel comfortable and safe as they access stations on foot, bus or bicycle.

Over the next few months the Authority will coordinate with corridor cities and design into the Foothill Extension allowable improvements that include such things as new bus shelters and benches, pedestrian lighting, street trees, bike lockers and racks, new sidewalks and new crosswalks. Attached is an announcement released today about the grant.

Finally, I am providing a link to a five minute grade-crossing video produced by the Authority to explain how we are designing at-grade crossings from Pasadena to Azusa to maximize safety for the general public and service reliability for train riders.  The video highlights the safety equipment and state of the art technology being designed into each of the nearly two dozen at-grade crossings.

The Journey Continues,

Habib F. Balian

Construction is underway on the Foothill Extension, which is funded by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008.

3 replies

  1. I currently live right near Line 187 as well as several other Foothill Transit lines. I never use them, especially Line 187. Line 187 takes two hours to get to Pasadena (on a good day). At that rate, it’s actually faster for me to take Metrolink all the way downtown and transfer to the Gold Line.

    This Gold Line extension will get me and other Foothill commuters to Pasadena in 30-40 minutes. Even driving in the carpool lane can take over 40 minutes during rush hour. That’s highly competitive for a light rail.

    Line 187, on the other hand, is meant to provide local service and it will probably keep doing that well. It can’t, however, compete with the speed of an intercity train. And let’s be honest, Foothill Transit 690 is pathetic. It runs only during peak hour, then gets stuck in the exact same freeway traffic as everyone else, plus if you miss it you’re screwed.

    Think of it this way: The Gold Line extension isn’t trying to duplicate Line 187, it’s trying to duplicate the freeway. Foothill Transit will help it compete with driving by getting people to and from stations.

  2. 2nd comment.

    Plus I don’t see a point for the Metro Gold Line Foothill extension, I think Gold Line is fine the way it is currently. It will ruin Foothill Transit more, because Line 187 sees good service.

    However if an extensiom duplicates a Metro route (which I know this one won’t), then I could care less about the Metro route, but for other systems I do.

    I think everything in the Foothill areas are find without Metro, the only thing is Metro should give away Lines 190 and 194 to Foothill Transit. The Foothill areas should be 100% Metro-free, with only other Transit system running.

    However Metro should build other extensions or Metro rails outside out of Foothill areas.

    Sorry but I oppose the extension, this would ruin Foothill Transit.

  3. The bad news is that the Metro Gold Line Foothill extension will duplicate Foothill Transit Line 187 and take ridership away from that line which means service may end up getting reduce. Line 187 is one of a few routes that run more often, with the Rail extension, it will take away good service on line 187.