More photos below. Click to see larger versions — you may be in one of them.
The morning was devoted to the speeches and platitudes. And then, shortly before noon, the big ribbon cutting finally happened at Duarte/City of Hope Station.
Yes, there were lines at the stations and a few bumps in the service because of the crowds on Saturday. But everything seemed to work out by later in the afternoon — and most people I spoke to seemed pleased that Metro Rail was extending deeper into the San Gabriel Valley.
The turnout was BIG. Metro estimates at least 20,000 boardings will have taken place at the six new stations on Saturday.
A huge THANK YOU to the taxpayers whose sales taxes built this project — the first to be funded by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. We hope that you can use and enjoy the Gold Line for many years and decades to come.
A huge congratulations and thank you to my friends at the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, whose hard work and doggedness got the project built — and finished on time and on budget. CEO Habib Balian and my cohorts in communication, Lisa Levy Buch and Albert Ho (he’s the ‘I’ in I Will Ride), have been awesome in terms of keeping the public informed as the extension took shape these past few years.
Also, a nod to many colleagues at Metro in Rail Operations, Community Relations, Communications, Marketing, Creative Services and Government Relations — and anyone else I’m forgetting — who had a hand in getting service up and running and planning today’s events.
Finally, for those not attendance today at the opening ceremony, more than a few elected officials said they want to see the Gold Line extended to Claremont and Montclair. The Construction Authority is already deep into the planning and design of that segment. The funding may not yet be secured, but the desire and political will sure seems to be there. Check out the Authority’s website for more info.
Other posts about the Gold Line extension:
Gold Line extension photography:
Opening day rides, riders and events: https://www.flickr.com/photos/metrola/albums/72157665483448436
Opening day breakfast and opening ceremony (elected officials, etc): https://www.flickr.com/photos/metrola/albums/72157663201775544
Gold Line Extension train testing pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/metrola/albums/72157664599541670
Photos of Foothill Cities, businesses, residents, attractions, offbeat pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/metrola/albums/72157665300408681
To download from Flickr, click on an image and then click on down facing arrow at bottom right of image and select size needed.