Additions to Gold Line Light-Rail Train Await Approval

Plans are complete for the Gold Line Foothill Extension to expand its reach from East Pasadena to Claremont. Construction will begin as soon as funding for the project is secured.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a potential sponsor but no concrete connection has been established yet. Private contractors were asked to contribute in order to help start the extension, but MTA’s participation is critical to the completion of the project.If approved by the MTA, the Gold Line will become part of MTA’s Long Range Transportation Plan, and will be entitled to $875 million of San Gabriel Valley sales tax revenues.So far MTA has only guaranteed federal “New Starts” support—a Federal Transportation Administration financial program for fixed guideway transit—to Downtown Los Angeles Regional Connector Projects and the Westside Subway project.Unlike the Foothill Extension proposal, neither of these projects have undergone environmental preparation for construction. While the Foothill Extension is “shovel ready,” these other projects will require at least five years to qualify for federal funding.On Oct. 20, 14 Southern California congressional members signed a letter asking county transportation administrators—mainly the MTA—to request federal funds for the Gold Line Foothill Extension.These legislators include Rep. David Dreier (R – San Dimas), who represents Claremont and the rest of the California’s 26th congressional district. Dreier and the other representatives argued that the MTA failed to represent the needs of the San Gabriel Valley, and that the MTA should pursue federal funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension as well as the Westside Subway Project and the Regional Connector Projects.

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