Dedication held for Arcadia Station

arcadia dedication gold line

With construction almost complete on the Gold Line Foothill Extension, the independent agency building the project has begun holding dedication ceremonies for each of the six stations. This past Saturday, they held the dedication for Arcadia Station, located on the northwest corner of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street in downtown Arcadia. A parking garage with 300 spaces has also been built next to the station.

Below is the news release from the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. The Authority will begin the process of turning over the project to Metro this fall. Metro will then begin pre-revenue testing and employee training with an opening in 2016. Before you ask: we don’t have an exact date yet! 

More photos are available here.

The Gold Line Foothill Extension adds 11.5 miles to the Gold Line from the existing Sierra Madre Villa Station in eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. The addition basically follows an extremely congested stretch of the 210 freeway and includes stations in downtown Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, downtown Azusa and a second Azusa station near the Rosedale development, Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University. In addition, the project includes a sprawling rail car maintenance facility in Monrovia.

The project is funded largely by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. Want to attend the other station dedications? Here’s the schedule.

And here’s the full press release from the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority:

Arcadia, CA – The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) today held a dedication ceremony for the recently completed Arcadia Station, the second in a series of dedications to celebrate the upcoming substantial completion of construction for the nearly $1 billion, six-station light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa. Today’s event was attended by elected officials at all levels of government, transportation officials and hundreds of community stakeholders. The 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line project from Pasadena to Azusa, which broke ground in June 2010, is on time and on budget to be turned over to Metro for pre-revenue service in late-September 2015. Metro anticipates starting pre-revenue service this Fall and passenger service in 2016. An opening date has not yet been determined.

“Completing the Foothill Gold Line on-time, on-budget to Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa took an exceptional partnership,” stated Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian as he recognized those in attendance that played key roles on the project. “We are thankful for the local leaders who lobbied and rallied for this project, and partnered with us to plan a project that would transform communities for generations to come.”

Dozens of local officials were in attendance at the dedication. Speakers included U.S. Representative Judy Chu; State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez; Metro Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; Metro Board First Vice Chair and Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Member, Duarte City Councilman John Fasana; and Foothill Gold Line Board Chairman Doug Tessitor. The CEOs of the Foothill Gold Line, Habib F. Balian, and Metro, Phil Washington, were also in attendance and spoke of the historic occasion. Arcadia Mayor Gary Kovacic welcomed everyone to the dedication and served as the event’s emcee.

“Many of you probably know that railroads have played an important role in the history of our city,” stated Mayor Kovacic during his welcome remarks. “Trains brought people who settled here and others who came to partake in our Racetrack. Today, we celebrate the rebirth of rail in Arcadia and the important changes it will bring to our downtown.”

The Arcadia Station is located in the heart of downtown Arcadia, at the intersection of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street. Fully revealed to the public for the first time at the dedication, the station features unique artwork created by local public artist Michael Davis. The artwork, titled “Arcadian Zephyr,” is inspired by natural and designed elements from two of the City of Arcadia’s major destinations: the racetrack at Santa Anita Park and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The end results include a 22-foot-tall weathervane with bronze sculptures that reference plants and animals from the Arboretum and racetrack; stainless steel panels featuring galloping racehorses in a tribute to the landmark frieze panels at Santa Anita Park; sandblasted black granite and signature green painted benches with a lucky number ‘7’ hidden in the framework; and, in a tribute to the City’s famous symbol and bird, a glass canopy designed after the eye of a peacock feather.

For more information on and images of the station, station art and today’s dedication, please visit

7 replies

  1. Most Angelinos have heard the stories or may even remember riding on the electric powered “Red Car” in Los Angeles. I was a child when we use to take it into downtown LA every year during the Christmas Holiday Season. It was really different in LA back then. What most people don’t realize is that in those days, there was tono such thing as a “mall” and suburbia was a new phenomena, not the standard. If you wanted to go to any major department store you had to go into downtown LA for Sears, Broadway, Penny’s, or Barker Bros (furniture) or to West LA for May Company. The “Red Car” was great. In fact it was so great, that a very powerful group of lobbyists that represented a competitor of the “Red Car” for some of our travel revenue, believed that there was literally millions of dollars they could make if they could only get the residents of Los Angeles to stop riding the “Red Car” and switch or to their mode of transportation instead, but the people of LA loved the “Red Car” and wouldn’t give it up. So, these very powerful lobbyists convinced the Local,State, and Federal Politicians if they wanted to be re-elected, was for them to convince the local residents that the best thing for all of of us was to get rid of our beloved “Red Car” and replace it with a new and privately owned mode of transportation that would allow us to go anywhere anytime, the automibile. Yes, the reason why fixed rail public transportation ceased to exist in LA was caused by powerful lobbyist from General Motors (GM) who made billions of dollars by creating the single largest tart group for their product in the world, the car.
    It’s taken almost 75 years to bring the LRT (Light Rail Transit) system back to life in Los Angeles. It’s way overdue. This new system being built in Southern California is an incredible means of transporation and Metro is a proven expert in their ability to provide and maintain an efficient and aforadable transportation system that combines multiple modes of transporation, if necessary, to get us there when we need to be there, safely and on-time.
    Kudos Metro.

    • “Most Angelinos have heard the stories or may even remember riding on the electric powered “Red Car” in Los Angeles.”

      You’re living in a world where you still expect many people today are in the same generation as you. To give you a shocking fact, the biggest age group today are the Millennials, the people who were born after 1980. They never experienced the Red Cars era, never heard of it, never ridden on it, never seen it, and all they know about is the poor public transit system called Metro. Maybe some of the older Millennial crowd might remember the final years of the RTD, but that’s about it.

      “Yes, the reason why fixed rail public transportation ceased to exist in LA was caused by powerful lobbyist from General Motors (GM) who made billions of dollars by creating the single largest tart group for their product in the world, the car.”

      YAWN. Everyone knows about this just by Googling the Great American Streetcar Scandal. Nothing new presented here. Besides, all the Red Cars had to do was be more profitable by going after real estate ventures or the sort. Instead of Red Cars just providing transit services, what they should’ve done was actually bought real estate, and started buying those Macy’s and whatever department stores that existed at that time so they have the upper advantage of owning the places where people live and where people shopped as well as how people get around.

      I can just as easily say you never saw privately owned rail systems in Japan like the Hankyu Railways, Seibu Railway, Odakyu Railways, or Tokyu Railways being bought out because of competition from Toyota or Nissan. The Seibu Railway and Tokyu Railways kept shareholders happy by starting to operate department stores and going after real estate as side businesses along their railway businesses. You keep shareholders happy by making more money for them, they won’t vote to kick the board members out and being bought out by a competitor.

      Not my fault the Red Cars had a singular mindset that their business model would last without any changes. They failed to diversify their revenue sources. The board members who operated the Red Cars could’ve just taken a plane trip across the Pacific to see how their peers were doing in Japan and see how the private rail systems there were pushing back against Toyota and Nissan.

      You fail to make changes and keep up with times, you’re doomed to failure. Just like Uber and Lyft are crushing the taxi cab business.

  2. Meh, typical Metro construction, absolutely ZERO amenities or shops or conveniences in or around the station, the usual open air design to scorch riders from the hot summer sun, nothing new. It can be summarized in one word: BORING.

    Oh, they do have some extra benches, likely becoming beds for the homeless or used as a place of congregation for panhandlers. Hurrah.

    Couldn’t you have built some extra retail space right here like so that eventually this station could have a juice bar or perhaps even a Din Tai Fung mini store or something?

    You think by now Metro would’ve figured out that today’s savvy Millennial generation want ACTUAL STUFF to do at the stations and hate this wide open spaces and ancient “there’s nothing interesting here” designs. Why do they keep building stations like this?

    Move along nothing new to see here. Come back to me when you get a Starbucks right here or something. God, LA is so behind the times…

    • “Din Tai Fung mini store”

      Yes, yes, yes!!! I hate that small parking lot. I would love to have Din Tai Fung right at the Arcadia Metro Station instead!!!

    • Having lived many years in Arcadia, I’m hopeful that the train station will stir some changes to the way the city has been planned for a long time. Most new businesses in Arcadia have been located on the immigrant-heavy Baldwin Ave. corridor as well as development at the mall. Neither is connected to the new station. Instead the city council spent millions trying to prop up the old commercial neighborhood on 1st Ave. but have seen relatively little success.

      It would be nice to see some sort of shuttle that connects all these points that are timed with the trains as well as access into some of the denser portions of the city where the apartments and condos are. And as the previous commenter said, it would be nice to see certain portions of downtown rezoned for multi-use. This needs to be done at the Arcadia city council level. Metro can bring the trains, but it can’t force the city to rezone.

  3. This line has been a long time in the making, however I feel is the least “celebrated”. As the system grows, and I’ve said this before, there will be points I may never visit. I’ve ridden the gold line maybe less than ten times simply because of the lack of need. For the kids over there, this is great. Beach trips, Museum Trips, Hollywood,Colleges, eventually LAX, and who else knows. Exciting stuff for SGV.

    • “I’ve said this before, there will be points I may never visit.”

      Umm, hello? This is LA. You can live your entire life here and not see everything or visit everyplace this place has to offer. There’s just so many things to do here and this metropolis has a whole lot to offer that there’s not an entire lifetime to experience it all regardless of method of transportation.

      Most people do not travel far in LA anyway because everything they need is very close by. People are not going to go to BestBuy, Macy’s or Target miles and miles away when it’s likely that there’s going to be a BestBuy, Macy’s and Target nearby. And those are the most frequent travel needs of people residing here. It’s the daily stuff like going to work, going grocery shopping, going on conspicuous consumption spending in their small sphere of activity that are the most frequent uses of transportation here in LA.

      The key is “frequent” use. The vast majority of people do not do trips like going from Long Beach to Arcadia on a daily basis. Trips like to the beach, museum, concerts are weekend infrequent activities.

      Expanding the Gold Line to Azusa? Great. Chances are the people living along the Gold Line extension ain’t gonna be using it to go to Santa Monica or Long Beach; they’re going to use it to go relatively short distances like to Pasadena and DTLA. Many SGV residents have jobs in Pasadena and DTLA. That’s going to be the Foothill Extension’s frequent use riders.