Claremont residents and 5C students can breathe easy about the future of their beloved Metrolink stop.
Following months of public outcry over a study analyzing the impact of eliminating the stop, the Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors voted unanimously to keep Claremont’s stop in service at its Jan. 25 meeting.
Under the current plans, the Metrolink station will be moved across College Avenue in 2021 to make room for the new Gold Line station, which will extend light rail service to Claremont. More than 50 Claremont residents, including 5C students, traveled to the meeting in Los Angeles to show support for the current station.
As an international student, Salonee Goel CM ’20 can’t drive and therefore relies on the Metrolink to get to her internship in L.A. each week. She wrote in an email to TSL that she is “more than relieved” the board voted for the stop to stay.
“If the Metrolink station was demolished [and not rebuilt], I would have to take an Uber/Lyft to the nearest Metrolink station … adding to my already two-hour commute,” she wrote, adding that the funding she receives from CMC would not be enough to cover the increased costs of Uber or Lyft rides.
Last September, prompted by a $300 million budget shortfall on Metro’s Gold Line Foothill Extension project, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis called for a study to investigate the impact of eliminating Metrolink stations along the extension route.
“When my office was first approached about the urgency related to procurement packages for the Foothill Gold Line, I was deeply concerned about some discussions that would eliminate this station. I sprang into action and requested an in-depth study that required community input,” Solis wrote in an email to TSL.
The study investigated eliminating Metrolink stations in several cities, including Claremont. Demolishing the station instead of rebuilding it across the street would have saved approximately $40 million, but it would have left Claremont without a train station from 2021 until the Gold Line extension opens in 2027.
Hundreds of Claremont residents and 5C students filled a town hall meeting in December to voice their concerns about that possibility.
Based on the outpouring of community criticism and the findings of the study, the Metro staff recommended to Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee that Claremont’s Metrolink stop be kept. The committee voted Jan. 17 to forward the recommendation to the Board, whose members made it official last Thursday.
Katie Baughman SC ’18 attended the women’s march in L.A. on Jan. 20, and used Metrolink to get there.
“Without it, I definitely wouldn’t have had as easy a time getting into the heart of L.A.,” she said. “It’s just nice to have something so accessible and close to campus. … It would [have been] a shame if losing the Metrolink kept students from having that opportunity.”
The Metro Board next plans to proceed with a staff-level task force, which will look at “how Metrolink, the Gold Line, and other transit services will complement each other to provide greater transit services along the rail corridor,” Claremont City Manager Tony Ramos wrote in his weekly update.
The Gold Line Foothill Extension will parallel the Metrolink between Pomona and Montclair, offering faster service, easier transfers, and $1.75 fares to destinations like downtown L.A. and Pasadena.
Meghan Bobrowsky contributed reporting.