Measure M: Gold Line extension to Claremont

Source: Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Source: Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

One in a series of posts that will look at projects and programs that would receive funding from the Measure M sales tax ballot measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. 

What is it? An 11-mile extension of the Gold Line from the APU/Citrus College Station in Azusa to Claremont including five new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. (See below for more about a potential Montclair station).

The Gold Line stations in Pomona and Claremont would be adjacent to stations on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line, providing a good transit connection between the Foothill Cities and destinations in San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. Future stations are walking distance to the Claremont Colleges, University of La Verne, the Los Angeles County Fairplex, among other destinations.

The project would include at least four new bridges over busy streets (Route 66 and Lone Hill Avenue in Glendora, Towne Avenue and Garey Avenue in Pomona; a few others are being evaluated) and about two dozen street-level rail crossings.

Travel time between Claremont and East Pasadena is estimated to be about 30 minutes. We already know there is considerable demand for transit within the San Gabriel Valley. A recent Metro survey found that 57 percent of riders using the Gold Line extension to Azusa are traveling to/from Pasadena.

When would it be complete? Measure M calls for a groundbreaking in 2019 and target completion date of 2025 to 2027 (the spending plan provides three-year ranges for completion of projects).

Who would build it? The  Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, an independent agency created by the state to oversee planning and construction of the Gold Line between Union Station and the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority has completed the required environmental studies for the project and is now in the advanced engineering phase.

Will there be parking at the stations? Yes, parking is planned for each station:

• Glendora Station – new parking structure: 400 spaces

• San Dimas Station – new parking structure: 450 spaces

• La Verne Station – new parking structure: 600 spaces

• Pomona Station – new parking structure: 750 new spaces (shared with Metrolink)

• Claremont Station – new parking structure: 1,260 spaces (shared with Metrolink)

Station parking facilities in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona would require land acquisitions, according to the Construction Authority.

What about extending the line to Montclair? Metro funds projects within Los Angeles County. The Construction Authority included Montclair in its environmental studies of the project, but Montclair is in San Bernardino County and extending the Gold Line there would require funding from San Bernardino County. The same goes with extending the Gold Line to Ontario Airport, a project that has been publicly discussed by officials and media.

Measure M calls for a half-cent sales tax increase and an extension of the existing Measure R sales tax. Please visit for more info and use the hashtag #metroplan when discussing on social media. The Metro Board approved sending the ballot measure to county voters at their June 23 meeting. 

Other posts about Measure M projets

Purple Line Extension acceleration

Airport Metro Connector

Rail or bus rapid transit on Van Nuys Boulevard

High Desert Corridor

105 freeway ExpressLanes

Light rail between Union Station and Artesia

Green Line extension to Torrance

Bus rapid transit on Vermont Avenue in L.A.

47 replies

  1. It’s almost laughable, the MTA is proposing a extension to the Gold Line although it parallels MetroLink but on the other hand refuses to even consider a line via the Sunset Bl./ Santa Monica Bl. corridor citing the Expo Line although the majority of it runs miles south of the above corridor.

  2. Why is a connection/parallel to Metrolink’s line a priority? Would Metrolink’s riders switch to the Gold Line when it’s a straight shot to DTLA? I understand if some people are headed to Pasadena, but there are other connections. I do believe Metro should focus on the Westside or The Valley before the Metrolink connections, heck, even the Santa Ana line would be a better option!!!

    • Well, one way I personally see it: Metro is Cheaper.

      Even with Distance based fares (theoretically speaking, of course), a ride from Downtown LA to Montclair via Gold Line will still be cheaper than riding on Metrolink. And if I’m not mistaken, they both will take the same amount of time to cover the distance.

      So tell me, why should I pay $20+ for a round trip ticket to Montclair (that’s 2016 dollars BTW) when I can do that for $3.50 (2016 dollars)?? Or assuming distance based fares in the future: $6-$10 (Again, just numbers I’m throwing out as an example) and possibly within +/- 10 min time difference??

      The Westside is already getting 2 Rail Lines now and a 3rd rail line to the valley in the future. Sure a Venice BRT would be nice short term though.

      I will agree with you on one thing though, building the ENTIRE Santa Ana corridor sooner would be a great addition. Just wish it got to Cerritos instead of Artesia, and went to LAUS from the beginning.

  3. No. Just no.

    There are so, so, SO many places that are in dire need of a rail line, or at least bus service improvements… Within 5 miles of downtown. What the heck is metro doing building a light-rail line OUTSIDE OF ITS JURISDICTION in San Bernadino county when there are dense neighborhoods in los Angeles CITY that lack reliable local bus service, much less rapid transit? A sunset boulevard/Santa Monica boulevard subway isn’t even on the freaking table.

    • It’s basic Civics 101: the greater the bureaucracy, the greater the pay check. The greater the pay check, the greater the pension. What’s not to understand?

    • Sunset Blvd subway?? No, just no. The ridership there clearly doesn’t even justify having a Rapid line so let’s just please leave Sunset Blvd out of the table entirely.

      I will agree with Santa Monica Blvd subway (or Underground Light Rail). However that’s where the Crenshaw Line comes in.

      I’m all for sending LA county dollars to extend the Gold Line 2500 ft (about 1/2 mile) to the Montclair station. Sounding like whinny people about extending a light rail line just outside the county line.

      Do I believe that bus service could use improvements?? Of course, but complaining that Metro is sending our money to SB (which as of right now, it will not be doing that), isn’t exactly going to solve that issue either. I do think these proposals need to go back and be reconsidered as well (e.g. That Desert freeway in Palmdale and Victorville).

      • It’s true Sunset does not have a Rapid Line but it does have a Limited Route which is the same thing except the color of the bus and the ease to switch from local to limited as the buses assignment warrants it.

        As far as the proposal to extend the Crenshaw Line through West Hollywood via Santa Monica Bl. from San Vicente Bl. to La Brea Ave. only solves the tip of the problem. Traffic on Santa Monica Bl. is severely grid locked from Centinella to the 405 freeway and then again from Century City to the 101 Freeway eastbound.

        While some claim the Expo Line and the Purple Line will relieve said traffic, bus service is few and far between going north and south until one reaches La Cienega Bl. none of which is provided by the MTA. And said bus service west of L a Cienega does not go north of Wilshire Bl. except the new proposed extensions to the MTA lines from the valley which I doubt will be able to duplicate either the Culver City service on Sepulvada or the BBB on Westwood.

        In short, I’m positive thousands if not millions of daily commuters would rather be on a light rail line than spending two or three hours inching along this East / West Corridor.

        On Santa Monica Bl. the old Pacific Electric right of way is still in place or partially removed and could be built upon in record time by professionals whose goal is completing the project instead of stretching it out as we have witnessed by the MTA and LACTC which built the Blue Line taking three years. Henry Huntington built the original line over the same right of way in six months using primitive methods of the late 1800’s – early 1900’s. A needed line built using modern railroad construction methods is the answer before the MTA extends lines into areas that do not suffer the headache we see today on the westside, a westside that was developed with a freeway promised and then cancelled.

  4. I second fine 7760’s comment. Rail should be built soonest where the population is densest, not where a right-of-way already happens to exist. Its as if this was early 20th century New York City, and city hall had decided that building a trolley line from Queens to the Bronx had priority over building the 8th Avenue subway.

    • Fully agree with you, but look what the NIMBYs (or NUMBYs (Under)) of West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills have forced the region to do with their nonsensical prattling. The Purple Line should be serving Santa Monica by now, but Henry Waxman et al stopped that.

  5. Since the 6 new stations opened, the Gold Line is already ridiculously crowded. A few days ago, about a third of the people were left standing on the platform at Union Station because the train couldn’t fit everyone on. Add more trains already or at least make the trains 3 cars instead of 2. I can’t be in favor of another expansion since Metro seems unable to adapt to the expansion they already made. It’s ridiculous that seemingly no thought was put into the fact that more stations means more riders. Figure it out already.

    • If you read other articles you would know that they are temporarily short on train cars due to 2 extensions being opened within 2 months of each other. They are getting new cars every few weeks, it’ll be 3 cars by the summer.

    • San Diego is disposing of their original cars. A beautiful example was donated to the Orange Empire Museum and is on display. It makes all the current Metro cars look like hell. Why hasn’t the MTA try to acquire the cars for use temporarily?

      • The San Diego DüWAG U2s were designed to old from the ground, not a platform like Los Angeles. Cars from Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and San Francisco do or have the ability to board at a platform. The San Diego cars might be able to be modified with platforms covering their stair wells, but it is not certain they have the same clearances in tunnels, etc.

        By the time Metro got the cars here and modified them, most of the new P3010 cars from K-S are expected to be delivered.

  6. Traffic is a mess in Duarte along Duarte Rd due to this “rapid ” transit….Complete standstill as multiple trains go by….

    • Really?? There are trains coming every 6 min at the most (1 from each direction). I know I’m not from the area, but I doubt a train crossing the intersections every 6 min (if that) in Duarte and Monrovia is causing severe traffic issues.

  7. In my opinion: one of those “SGV snubs” that killed Measure J, was including the $5-$15 BILLION 710 toll & truck tunnel to appease a former Metro Board member and councilperson/mayor for life from Alhambra, and its supporters in the construction unions, Caltrans, Port of LB, importers and truckers. If this happens again, I predict that the new Metro measure will down in flames like a Messerschmitt in the Battle of Britain and we will be the worse for it.

    • The 710 was in Measure R. Metro was forced to put it in the Measure when they needed state approval for the ballot to go to the voters and State Senators from the San Gabriel Valley insisted that it be put in the Measure for their approval.

  8. This plan assumes way too much parking!!! You list almost 3,500 parking spaces at the new stations. That will cost at least $140 million dollars, not including land acquisition costs! Way too much! The demand for free parking at light rail stations is 150-200 at each city, and 600-1,000 at the end of the line. That adds up to 1,500 to 2,000 parking spaces for this extension, and that’s assuming free parking. If you charge for parking (as you should) that demand will decline as people are encouraged to explore other access modes. Don’t spend that money on free parking. Spend it planning TOD, multi-modal access, and integration with local bus services.

    • Where are you getting the $140 million figure from?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • 3,500 parking spaces at $40,000 per space, which is a reasonable estimate for parking spaces in “new parking structures”. Once again, this doesn’t include the land acquisition costs.

        • Okay. Note to readers: that’s a generic formula. I don’t believe the exact cost of the structures is known yet.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • Granted, there is a wide range of cost estimates available. I used an article that I found on the Streetsblog:
        which includes the quote: “For surface spaces, the cost for each one is around $20,000; garages and structures cost $50,000 per space; underground spaces can cost $80,000 per space.”
        In my estimate I assume a mix of surface lots and (mostly) structures, to arrive at my average of $40,000 per space.

      • Steve there is a ton of information out there regarding the ballpark and very high cost of parking (e.g., We all love the idea of FREE parking, but very few people stop to actually consider how much it costs to actually construct, let alone maintain. And that’s not even considering the opportunity cost of not using that incredibly valuable transit-adjacent land for other purposes such as TOD/TOC, mixed use retail and residential (which would help rather than exacerbate the incredibly high cost of housing in LAC). Rather than dumping $100-160 million on parking, Metro and the cities should really be integrating first-mile, last-mile active and public transit connections to the new stations.

  9. Why not extend the Gold Line to Mt. Wilson? I’m sure someone would ride it on a regular basis. Meanwhile those on the Westside are stuck in total gridlock daily with no freeway or rail alternative. While the Purple Line extension will cross Santa Monica Bl. in 20 or 30 years and the Expo Line runs approximately five miles south parallel with Santa Monica and Sunset Blvds. there are few north/south bus lines to connect with.It’s criminal for the MTA to continue to build lines to areas that are well served by numerous freeways and MetroLink while not even considering a alternative for those commuting everday from Echo Park, Silverlake, East Hollywood, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles. A NO vote on MTA’s ballot measure is the only way to get their attention

    • Sorry, but the Westside brought that apron itself when it went along with Waxman’s Mythical Methane and killed the Subway at Koreatown. Metro has to be efficient which is why it is building on existing under-utilized rail corridors like Expo and the old Santa Fe (Gold Line).

      Tunnels take longer to dig. Had the one built under Wilshire been continued, it would be at Santa Monica by now. And as for Freeways, the plans for CA 2 (the original Santa Monica Freeway) are still on a shelf at CalTrans District 7 collecting dust.

  10. Not making sure that this second extension of the Gold Line goes to Montclair is plain stupid.

    Montclair Train Station (TransCenter as Foothill Transit likes to call it) is the main western hub for Omnitrans and will by then be the western end of a San Bernardino to Montclair BRT line that is in the planning. There are also connections to the Riverside Transit bus system during peak hours now, but this is also possible to expand. Montclair also has a 1,600 space surface parking lot with easy access to both I-10 and I-210 via Monte Vista. Build parking structures on that lot and you can increase that capacity by as many floors as you want to build.

    The county line is just 2000 feet from the current TransCenter.

    How immensely short-sighted and administratively immature it would be if Metro (and SanBag) could not get the tracks built that short a distance. But then little surprises me in this region when it comes to transportation that does not involve the automobile.

  11. The fact that we’re having to wait 20 or 30 years to get the Sepulveda Pass line finished would be a turn-off for me. This project should be made “shovel ready” AT ONCE. This project has been talked about for, at least, the last 20 years and instead of widening the 405, they should have spent that money on “rail transit” instead. The money would have been better spent and the residents of both the westside and the San Fernando Valley would have been much happier because there was a fast efficient way to get from one area to the other.
    The fact that METRO is giving priority to the San Gaberial Valley, as opposed to the San Fernando Valley will make me vote NO on this “proposed ballot measure”. Why should these people have to wait 20 or 30 years for this project to be completed? Like I said before, either this project is moved up so that it can start construction in 2019 and finish within 5 years, will force me to vote NO on this proposed ballot measure.
    In addition, we need dedicated bus lanes, not just at rush hour, as is with the case with the joke on Wilshire. Perhapps not 24 hour but, at least from 6:00 AM to i:00 AM the next day. This should be done on ALL major streets around Los Angeles, and this should be a 7 day a week enforcement. This way, both the motering public , as well as, the buses will move faster.
    For those who say that METRO can’t do that, I say, yes they can by witholding that citie’s share of METRO funding until it is completed.

  12. I like this extension in the foothills. what I like even more is that Santa Ana route that runs through southeast L.A does anyone believe that the ridership is there on that line?

    • There are tons of restaurants in the area surrounding Pioneer Boulevard & South Street in Artesia & Cerritos, I can be sure that Metro Rail will serve many patrons & workers in the area.

  13. With the campaign looming, I would have expected Metro to do a better job accommodating the influx of new passengers riding the expanded Gold Line. An extra car should be added to all rush-hour trains. Standing-room only trains turn off voters.

    • In case you missed, all of the new rail cars have been delivered slowly. As a result, there’s a shortage of rail cars not just on the Gold Line, but you can bet the Expo Line is going to feel it as well.

      So I don’t think at this point that it’s Metro that’s being hard headed, but there isn’t enough rail cars to go around.

      Also, as a voter, Standing room trains don’t turn me off, and I know a few others will agree as well. You will be seeing extra rail cars added to the Gold Line & Expo Line in due time.

    • Busses all over LA are standing room only during rush hour. The same can be said for the Red Line during rush hour. I don’t see the issue with people having to stand on the train like its not a common thing around the world, but also locally here in LA. I’ve never understood why has this become such a big issue because of the Gold Line, when its been happening before the extension took place, and will continue to happen. I’m just happy people are taking the train.

      Atleast when trains are packed you still have an option to either get on or wait for the next one, whereas with busses you don’t. I’ve been passed by full busses plenty of times and Metro never wrote a blog post about that issue. Instead they just decide to increase the load factor which only makes the issue worst.

      • You can blame the dithering delays caused when Antonio Villaraigosa allowed himself (and others) to be wined and dined by the AnsaldoBreda sales team who came in with promises (which they make with al their bids) that they would open a “permanent” factory here and forever build cars here for Metro and for the rest of the world. That whole dance cost Metro about two or more years, delaying the contract they eventually sign with K-S who are building the cars now. In the meantime AnsaldoBreda basically went belly up and had to be rescued by Hitachi.

        It stinks that you have to stand in full trains. My advice to you is to alter your schedule if you can as the trains are relatively empty after 6:45pm. Or wait until more cars arrive. By Christmas this will have sorted itself out. The Gold Line Extension is much more popular than anyone predicted. And if that’s not enough, consider taking the Foothill Transit Bus 496 to Azusa and take a train back to your ultimate destination.

    • That would be nice. But they need rail cars to both increase the length and change service to 6 minute headways.

  14. “Metro funds projects within Los Angeles County.”

    Okay, so why not fund it ourselves (speaking as LA county as a whole).??

    Just sell it to voters as that money will also go to only the Montclair Station and if San Bernardino county wants to see it extended further then they can fund that extension themselves.

    I know you previously mentioned that it’s not illegal in the criminal sense, but even if this is the case, and LA county voters would hypothetically agree as a whole to build the Montclair station with LA county money, what will still keep us from doing it??

    I just don’t see the point of selling Montclair to LA county residents and commuters and then telling them we can’t do it when clearly we can. At the very least move the Station to the county line and have Claremont and Montclair share a station there. Because if San Bernardino ultimately decides not to pitch in the money for a Montclair station, then the environmental study ultimately becomes a waste of both time and money, wouldn’t it??

    • LA County does not have nexus to build anything in SB County and LA County taxpayers would be more than upset if any of their funds were to go to another county. Up to SB County if they want to build Montclair. Time to either put up or shut up.

  15. Not having a Montclair station would be a disaster for downtown Claremont. The former location has far more room for bus and car dropoff loops and parking. Both SB commuters and the city should put maximum pressure on the SANBAG board members to make this a priority and to acquire more funding sources for this 1.2 mile segment.

  16. I prefer ballot measures for each METRO giant step like extending the Gold Line, they make me feel I am having some real say on projects, rather than a GIANT all or nothing ballot measure as is being considered above. Because, I feel that there is less potential for (special interest-motivated) Trojan Horses being rolled in like the smog making 710 toll & truck tunnel.

  17. 10 years later is laughable. China could build this in 6 months. Russia can build it in less than a year. Even Russia has a high speed rail line now. WTH. This gold line plan should have been done already if funds werent diverted to the east LA gold line route.

    • Yeah. . . Because there definitely aren’t people who actually needed the East LA and Whittier leg of the Gold Line.

    • I will agree with you on one thing though: What is up with the 5-10 year timeline?? I thought 2B was ready to go as soon as funding became available??

      • The 2A and 2B were designed at the same time long ago. 20 years later though for the finished product? Yikes.

    • I’m pretty sure China doesn’t have CEQA or democracy. If people complain about a project they probably just get thrown into re-education through labor camps after a “trial” . . .

      The East Side Gold Line probably has must better transit fundamentals, like residential density, than anything in the San Gabriel Valley. Plus, didn’t we just open an extension of the Gold Line one month ago? Why is the SGV getting all the love?

      • Why is the SGV getting all the love? Come on. The more EXPENSIVE Expo Line and less expensive longer Gold Line Phase IIa were both being built at the same time. What other Rail Projects are in SGV? How about the very expensive Purple Line, but even if we take that out, there is the Crenshaw Line that is also under construction. The Westside is getting a lot for its money. The problem is all parts of the county are now facing bad gridlocks almost 24/7. We have to work as a TEAM and do work in all areas. Westsiders said that Phase IIb will be a bust, just look at the ridership already with parking at each station. Expo Phase II will get a lot more bad press because of lack of parking at the stations.

        I agree that East LA does need the line as well.

        Bottom line, SGV does not get all the love. Metro Board in the past snubbed our elected Federal Representatives that could help fund all projects who were supporting the Gold Line Phase IIb. If Metro’s Board did not snub SGV, there would have been a good chance the Measure J would have passed and we would not be talking about R-2 today.

  18. Glad to read the possibility for the start date for the extension of the Gold line to Claremont is 2019. Reading about projects that are two decades away isn’t that exciting.