In the near future, Claremont students may have a more convenient way to get around the Los Angeles area thanks to the Foothill Gold Line Project, a light rail system that would connect the metro public transit system of Los Angeles to the Claremont Metro station.
The current MetroLink system is composed of loud, slower traditional trains. After the Foothill Gold Line is installed, the L.A. Metro will run its light rail on this new, updated system.
According to Foothill Gold Line Media Relations representative Albert Ho, the line will connect Claremont and Montclair with Glendora, LaVerne, and Downtown Los Angeles. From there, riders can transfer on the L.A. Metro to Hollywood, Santa Monica, or Pasadena.
While the current MetroLink train system does offer service to L.A., some students, such as Jordan Hollinger PZ ‘19 find the system difficult to navigate.
Hollinger said that while he hasn’t made many recent trips to L.A., he “would definitely be incentivized to visit L.A. more often if there was a more efficient way of travelling there.”
According to Ho, the light-rail Foothill Gold Line system would be more frequent and quicker than the MetroLink system, more similar to the light rail which runs in downtown L.A. than to the traditional trains in Claremont.
“In the current Metro in Azusa, a train comes through every seven minutes during rush hour,” Ho said.
The Gold Line Claremont station will have service until 2 a.m., according to Ho.
These late night stops may seem like unwelcome news for students living on Pomona’s south campus, who are reminded of MetroLink train’s presence by whistles throughout the night and early morning.
“They sometimes make it hard to go back to sleep early in the morning,” Jacob Brawer PO ‘20 said.
But according to Ho, the Gold Line will be so silent that “clackers” need to be installed to warn passersby of the train approaching intersections.
On Nov. 8, voters in Los Angeles County have the opportunity to decide if the Foothill Gold Line is worth it. Measure M will generate an estimated $860 Million a year for infrastructure projects, including the Foothill Gold Line, for the next forty years through the use of an additional half-cent sales tax. Construction of the rail system would begin in 2017, and last about six years, so current students would likely not be able to use the Gold Line during their academic career.