The new video comes from the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency charged with planning and building the rail extension between Azusa and Montclair. The line, as planned, includes stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair and is envisioned as a good transit alternative to the chronically constipated 210 freeway.
Attentive Source readers know there are some caveats here. This is a priority project in Metro’s current long-range plan but is not funded. Metro’s half-cent sales tax ballot measure going to voters this fall does have money for the project, but obviously that’s no sure thing. Otherwise, Metro would need to find different sources to build the project.
Another caveat: Montclair is in San Bernardino County, meaning that the project would only go beyond Claremont with a financial contribution from San Bernardino County. Montclair is considered a key destination because of the city’s transit center and the available parking near a potential train station there.
The Construction Authority built the Gold Line between Pasadena and Azusa in two phases and then handed them over to Metro for operation. The route to Claremont and Montclair would, like the existing Gold Line, be built alongside a freight railroad.
As before, Foothill Transit service currently does not and, probably will never, extend beyond Montclair. That is why we need a reincarnation of the pre-1976 version of the SCRTD, with the inclusion of Ventura County and with emphasis on “Southern California.”
Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_California_Rapid_Transit_District#Restrictions_and_expansion, SCRTD was created on August 18, 1964, to serve the urbanized Southern California region, including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and Riverside County. SCRTD replaced the major predecessor public agency, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, and ten different private bus companies in the Southern California region. It was shortsightedly chopped up in 1976 when separate transit agencies were formed in each county, resulting in the uncoordinated situation we have now.
The leaders of the various transit agencies may be talking to each other, but so far that has not resulted in significant inter-county transit service despite the very heavy inter-county automobile traffic on the I-5, SR-60, SR-91, US-101. I-210 and, of course, the I-405,
As for Foothill Transit, per http://foothilltransit.org/about/fast-facts/, their system average daily patronage is approximately 48,000 riders per day, or less than the 50,000 that the Gold Line generates now with its extension to Azusa. This despite Foothill operating the Silver Streak BRT line which uses articulated buses serving Downtown Los Angeles, El Monte, West Covina, Pomona, and Montclair, with 8-minute rush hour and 15-minute mid-day head-ways (see http://foothilltransit.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/line-silver-streak-0131161.pdf, )
If there were ever a stark comparison in the relative value between rail and bus, this is the “Gold Standard.”
And don’t forget the, now, almost empty 690, rush hour express to/from Pasadena. Foothill Transit could up their ridership significantly providing “shuttle” services from Claremont/La Verne/San Dimas/Glendora, along the 690 route, to Gold Line extension stations, but I haven’t heard anything about that happening. The 187 city bus is not a reasonable option.
Great idea, @RD-909! You heard it here first: http://foothilltransit.org/line-690-changes/
Unless things change from the current pattern (see http://foothilltransit.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/line-690-013116.pdf), Line 690 provides only one way rush hour service, It does, however, serve Montclair and thus riders can transfer to and from Onmitrans.
Foothill Line 187, although circuitous and slower (see http://foothilltransit.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/line-187-013116.pdf), at least provides comprehensive daily and weekend service. Perhaps Foothill can combine the best characteristics of Lines 187 and 690 – some freeway running and comprehensive daily and weekend service.
However, what is REALLY needed is an express bus service from San Bernardino to Azusa similar to Omnitrans Line 290 (http://omnitrans.org/schedules/pdf/route290-Schedule-1473129910.pdf) but with more rush hour and all day and weekend service and maybe with additional intermediate stops. However, this will probably never happen due to the “separation of powers” between LA and San Bernardino counties.
Nice!!, Foothill Transit. I rode the 690 for 3 years prior to a job change. The revised service should be in high demand by my many former 690 “ride buddies” who are now taking the Gold line to Pasadena.
Maybe Metro can loan SBC Transit the money with a reasonable interest rate to build the line into SB county. SB County must have a very poor credit rating so a reasonable interest rate can be considerable higher than the current market rates. .
The problem isn’t SANBAG’s credit rating, it’s the fact that there’s no money for such a project. There’s about a billion worth of double-tracking improvements in SBD county still needed for the SB Line and the Redlands Rail is another quarter billion. Measure I isn’t Measure R and the money coming in won’t even be enough to cover all the necessary improvements to the SB Line.
Good luck working with SANBAG, which is lead by suburban politicos whose ‘vision’ wierdly centers around downtown San Berdoo. Bus Rapid Transit that (will expensively) connect with a floundering Metrolink. Even the proposed Ontario airport rail service doesn’t involve a Gold Line extension; hopefully that will change if ONT gets passenger service improved. Service supporting LA county job bound commuters gets short shrift, Foothill Transit has to take up the slack (barely).
There is really only one urban core in SB County–and that’s Downtown SB. Ontario doesn’t offer a true core and Downtown Pomona is in LA County.
The only reasonable thing to do is to start with City of SB and spread out from there… unless you want transit lines randomly, thinly placed through the SB suburbs.
What exactly is “weird” about centering all the transit into a multimodal transit center at the eastern end of the Metrolink line with the best service patterns and highest ridership? SANBAG and Metro are both actively working on projects that will significantly improve reliability to support a vision of 56 trains/day on the line and ultimately, the biggest bottlenecks are definitely on the LA County end. In addition to the SB Line, the downtown Transit Center will also be the eastern terminus of the IEOC Line and the western terminus of the Redlands Passenger Rail project, where people from all Omni’s East Valley fixed route and freeway express, VVTA, MARTA, and Pass Transit can transfer to or from a train.
Also, the IE is getting to the point where we’d like to be more than just a bedroom (and warehouse) for the coastal counties, so the focus is on bringing jobs to the region, not spending all our money making it easy for people to get out of here every day for work.
Finally, in regards to ONT, the majority of the passenger use comes from immediately adjacent and slightly east. With it being returned to local control, it will be a tough sell to convince SBD county voters that we need to fund a train extension that will not be as beneficial to them as it is to LA.
On to Cucamonga!
Metro can’t go there yet. Because of the asinine legislation that created separate transit agencies in the five local counties (LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura), Metro is basically restricted to LA County. The original MTA and, SCRTD were not so restricted. Metrolink is currently the only provider of comprehensive inter-county service, but there are significant mid-day and weekend gaps on some of the lines.. The only Metro line serving outside of LA County is the 460 Line.
Even Foothill Transit, which services the San Gabriel Valley only goes as far east as Montclair. Both Omnitrans and Foothill serve the Montclair Transit Center, but there is no through service, Rather, transfers are required between the two systems.
The effect is that, except for very few OCTA lines, there are essentially no inter-county through bus services even though there is considerable inter-county commuter traffic and congestion on the I-10, I-405, I-210, SR-60, etc. There is a crying need to correct this monstrosity, but it appears that little if anything is being done to correct this deplorable situation.
To illustrate how ridiculous this is, OCTA Line 1 serves Long Beach BUT NONE of the Blue Line stations, only Metro Line 577 which provides only infrequent weekday service and no weekend service. Even if Line 1 did connect with the Blue Line, Metro would require a full fare for OCTA patrons to ride the Blue Line. Definitely not the way to encourage more ridership.
We need a new 5-county agency organized like the New York MTA which not only operates subways and buses in all 5 boroughs but also includes Metro North and the LIRR that serve adjacent counties and, for Metro North, into Connecticut. Individual counties, e.g., Westchester, Putnam, Nassau, Suffolk, etc.,can, and do, operate their local bus systems, and this could be the case here.
Thank you Frank for pointing out the elephant in the room! Every agency, city, and county is an independent fiefdom, and has to flex their muscle and individuality. Generally, that means making sure they don’t play nice with any other agency/municipality. You are correct, the connections between LA MTA and OCTA and San Bernardino are atrocious.
It isn’t asinine, it’s who is willing to pay for transit service. LA County has voted to pay higher taxes than surrounding counties for better transit. No one in LA County wants to subsidize everyone in the freeloading counties surrounding, so most routes end short of the border.
Before we have a 5 county agency like New York MTA, we need 4 counties to start raising tax revenue on par with LA county.
Orange County has a Measure M sales tax that has paid for a complete rebuild of the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway in Orange County, and is in effect until 2041. Likewise in San Bernardino and Riverside counties (see http://www.californiacityfinance.com/TranspTrUseTax.pdf ). These two transit taxes remain in effect until 2040 and 2039, respectively..
Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_California_Rapid_Transit_District “SCRTD was split up in 1976 with the formation of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC), The LACTC was formed in 1976 resulting from the requirement that all counties in the state form local transportation commissions. Its main objective was to be the guardian of all transportation funding, both transit and highway, for Los Angeles County. The creation of the LACTC required RTD to share some of its power. The governing structure of the LACTC was similar to that of the SCRTD, however the city of Los Angeles had three of the eleven board members, compared to two on the SCRTD board). By law, the commission included the mayor of Los Angeles, a city council member appointed by the mayor, a private citizen appointed by the mayor, all five county supervisors, a member of the city council of Long Beach and two city council members from other municipalities, elected by the Los Angeles branch of the California League of Cities. Each of the members had an appointed alternate.”
Note the phrase “resulting from the requirement that all counties in the state form local transportation commissions.” Thus it had nothing to do with taxes – it was done to create separate agencies in each county, with apparently no concern for the potential impact it may have had. What the State Legislature did in 1976 it can just as easily undo.
I would like to know the reason why this was done, but I fear it was provincialism that was the root cause. It is a miracle that Metrolink is not restricted in this fashion.
It was, to put it mildly, in my opinion a mistake. I say this because of the apparent lack of an integrated transit system for LA and the four adjacent counties. We now have separate and independent transit commissions in each county paying attention to their own county rather than looking at the total picture. They may be talking to each other, but action, or the apparent lack of it, speaks far louder than words.
BTW — At the time, I disagreed with the concept of having two separate agencies (LACTC and SCRTD) handling transit in LA County, and was pleased when they were finally merged in 1996 to form LA Metro (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_County_Metropolitan_Transportation_Authority),
fund it and its yours
The Montclair to ONT airport Phase 2C was original designed to have a Rancho Cucamonga station, but the City of RC opted out being a part of the route because the station wasn’t deep enough into the city. If Phase 2C ever gets built, there likely won’t be a RC station.
There likely won’t be a 2C because the ROW is getting encroached in Upland.