Will Gold Line Get Extended to Ontario Airport

12_3_08_Gold_Line.jpg

In advance of meetings on possible extensions of the Metro Gold Line, the Gold Line Construction Authority has released two documents pointing towards a future extension to the Ontario Airport.  An environmental study narrows the list of possible extensions to the airport to two, while a new survey shows overwhelming support by locals and transit riders for a direct train to the Ontario Airport.  90% of those surveyed who use Ontario Airport said they would use light rail to access to airport when it is available.

The two potential routes would have new stations Montclair, Upland, Ontario and Rancho
Cucamonga.  The Contra Costa Times has outlines for the two routes:

One route would travel
east from Montclair along the Pacific Electric Trail before heading
south along the Cucamonga Creek Channel to the airport.

The second route would be constructed on a new track
alongside the Metrolink track and south along the Cucamonga Creek
Channel to the airport.

Better details on the routes will be made available at public meetings tonight and tomorrow.  While the Construction Authority’s website doesn’t have postings on the meeting, a  press release does:

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Board of Directors is now hosting
open houses in Rancho Cucamonga and Upland to give residents a chance to
learn about the preferred routes. The Board narrowed the route options
from the original 13 based on technical evaluations and extensive
feedback from the public and key stakeholders.

The open houses will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A December 3 open
house will be held in Upland at the Andrew Carnegie Library and Cultural
Center, 123 East "D" St., and the second open house will be held
December 4 in Rancho Cucamonga at the James L. Brulte Senior Center,
Clay Creek Room, 11200 Baseline Rd.

I won’t be able to attend either of these meetings, but if someone who does attend is interested in writing a review, contact me at damien@streetsblog.org

Photo: Salaam Allah West Coast Transit Photography King/Flickr

  • This would be great news for the only legally sanctioned pedicab operation within the City of Los Angeles’ jurisdiction:

    http://www.skylinepedicab.com/

    A train ride to a pedicab ride to a plane ride – that would be pretty neat.

  • Craig

    I think your title is inaccurate? Shouldn’t it be, “Will Gold Line Get Extended to Ontario Airport?”

    I know both airports are operated by LAWA, but LAX is only one place…

  • Oh dear lord, that’s not good. Thanks Craig, I also just updated with more news on the potential routes.

  • Thanks for your comments. And I appreciate you posting information about the open houses, as we should have done on http://www.metrogoldline.org. There is a link to the Ontario Airport Study (www.goldline2ontario.com), which shows the meeting times and locations along with lots of information about the study.

  • Beautiful photo!

  • No one is going to take the Gold Line from Downtown to the Ontario Airport. The more salient point is that it brings light rail transit, for the very first time, to San Bernardino County, and that is something to be commended. The area around Ontario Airport is becoming a real edge city. For added benefit I would start reserving some right of way eastward toward Ontario Mills, since there is a lot of non-transit oriented mixed use being developed there at the “Piemonte”, including a sports arena, shopping, and three to four story apartment and condo complexes.

  • I believe the Gold Line is politically inevitable.

    There’s been a lot of discussion about whether it would have been better from a public policy perspective to enhance Metrolink service.

    Isn’t that still a good idea? I know there are problems with shared tracks with freight, but I still think Expanding Metrolink is important even when the Gold Line goes through.

    What about the old Silver Line project? Could that be recessitated to cover the ground in between the Foothill and Whittier branches of the Gold Line?

  • “No one is going to take the Gold Line from Downtown to the Ontario Airport.”

    Agreed. 75 minutes is absurdly long to get from Downtown to Ontario. I believe this project will fill a different niche in our transportation network. Some airport trips it could be quite useful for:
    -Downtown airport-goers could take Metrolink to Upland and transfer to the Gold Line to reach the airport.
    -San Bernardino airport-goers could similarly transfer from Metrolink.
    -Pasadena and Foothill airport goers would have a direct link to the airport.

    AND, don’t forget, someday a CA high-speed rail stop will be directly in front of the Ontario Airport terminals. All the cities along the Foothill Gold Line would have direct access to the HSR network through the Gold Line.

  • Ontario Airport? Why stop there? How about Moreno Valley or Barstow? Heck lets build the Gold Line to Las Vegas!

    Is there any – I mean one shred of documentation to indicate that a light rail to Ontario airport is needed? And does anyone have a clue how much money the Gold Line is currently bleeding Metro operations because it’s ridership is so low?

    I’m with Snoble, build it to Azusa and make the rest Metrolink.

    And discussion of Gold Line extension beyond that needs to focus east. Head out of Downtown Pasadena towards Downtown Glendale, the Burbank studios, and connect with the Red Line at Universal City.

    But why would a transportation agency in LA do something silly like directly serve major economic centers? That stuff only happens by accident.

  • Ridership on the Gold Line is actually OK and is reduced because of the annoying transfer. I agree that the eastern extension should go after the Downtown Connector, which will be a true test of ridership. When the full through routed Gold-Expo line is operational from Santa Monica to Azusa, and has been operational for a year or two, then we can talk about extending the line eastward. I do expect, though, that the parking lots at Citrus College, Azusa, and Irwindale are going to be full starting from the first year. The 210 freeway is worse than the 10 now in terms of traffic, and the carpool lane is worthless. There is a real demand for quality transit in the Foothill Corridor.

  • Why not build it to the airport? If we’re taking it all the way to Montclair, we might as well make Ontario the last stop. Let’s not pull another Green Line here, and stop the Gold Line just short of an airport. Making people transfer to metrolink at that point is the equivalent of making people transfer by bus to LAX from the Green Line station. It undercuts the metro rail from the ridership it would have if it went directly to the airport.

    I do agree that Metro should look at somehow putting a metro rail line through Glendale and Burbank and connect to the redline at NoHo or Universal.

    As for your comment:
    “But why would a transportation agency in LA do something silly like directly serve major economic centers? That stuff only happens by accident.”

    You mean like the red line (downtown, Hollywood, Universal, Noho) and the blue line (downtown L.A., downtown Long Beach)? Those “accidents” were apparently a long time coming, given how long it took to get them built.

  • “Ridership on the Gold Line is actually OK and is reduced because of the annoying transfer.”

    Actually it’s really not. A 13 mile corridor in the middle of an area with that much residential density connecting two major economic centers (Downtown LA and Downtown Pasadena) and with considerable traffic 25K or even 30K is not OK ridership in the second most populous city in the country.

    Indeed the fact that the line is by far the worst performer of any fixed guideway project for Metro based on passenger mile cost clearly shows that it’s not OK.

  • Question: Why is a Bay Area newspaper reporting on a Gold Line extension?

  • Daniel Walker

    Gold Line Light Rail extension to Ontario Airport is a good idea. However, I suggest that the Gold Line Construction Authority also work with SCRRA (Metrolink) and Amtrak.

    There are two existing railroad tracks that pass immediately north (UP) and immediately south (SP) of Ontario Airport. Metrolink Riverside line runs on the SP line along the southern fence of the Ontario Airport. The East Ontario Metrolink station is about 3-4 blocks from the Ontario Airport. Amtrak Sunset Limited trains run along the northern border of the airport, across the street from the passenger terminals. The Ontario Amtrak station is located at 228 South Plum Street, about 2 miles west of the airport.

    If the Gold Line Construction Authority, LAWA, Ontario city, SCRRA, and Amtrak actually work together, they might be able to design a trail station at the airport which can conveniently take passengers to the Gold Line, Metrolink, and Amtrak.

  • “Actually it’s really not. A 13 mile corridor in the middle of an area with that much residential density connecting two major economic centers (Downtown LA and Downtown Pasadena) and with considerable traffic 25K or even 30K is not OK ridership in the second most populous city in the country.”

    It doesn’t connect Downtown Los Angeles, in case you haven’t noticed. Union Station is not Downtown. While a transfer is annoying when you are coming in from Santa Ana or Upland on the Metrolink, it is painful when you are just pulling in from Lincoln Heights or South Pasadena, when there is a one shot bus that does it in the same amount of time instead.

    The “second most populous city in the country” is nonsense, because we are talking about a local light rail line. The 3.5 million people in Los Angeles who are not served by the Gold Line don’t care where it goes. The other thing that is holding the Gold Line down is its speed. The Green Line, despite serving not much more than the middle of a freeway, gets 40,000 riders. The Gold Line eastward will run at a high speed, because of its dedicated right of way. It will not be stuck in traffic in the median of a local street. The time from Azusa to Pasadena will be competitive with driving at all hours, not just during the rush hour.

  • “Question: Why is a Bay Area newspaper reporting on a Gold Line extension?”

    Because it’s easier to link to the Bay Area newspaper than whatever local paper (the San Bernardino Sun in this case) out of the MediaNews chain did the story.

  • “It doesn’t connect Downtown Los Angeles, in case you haven’t noticed.”

    Basic transportation modeling tells you that one transfer does not account for the difference in riders that would actually make this line “OK” in the ridership department

  • Wad

    Militant Angeleno wrote:

    Question: Why is a Bay Area newspaper reporting on a Gold Line extension?

    Well, KNBC-4 did a story Friday on the afternoon news about a bus in the Bay Area that steers itself. There’s still a driver needed to accelerate and brake, but the bus follows magnets imbedded in the road.

    It’s supposed to be a bus rapid transit project, and a San Diego Transit articulated bus was used.

  • cph

    “Basic transportation modeling tells you that one transfer does not account for the difference in riders that would actually make this line “OK” in the ridership department”

    Well, there are transfers and then there are *transfers*…

    Transferring between Blue and Red or between Blue and Green is relatively easy. Just get off the train, grab an elevator or escalator (or stairs if you want buns-of-steel) to the other platform and board the next train.

    From the Gold Line to the Red Line, however, is a walk of at least 5-10 minutes, depending on how fast you walk. The three sets of stairs/escalators needed to make the trip don’t help much either, especially when things get crowded in the morning.

    (A direct elevator between the Gold and Red Line platforms would be *nice*, but probably not practical due to the way the platforms are situated).

    The Downtown Connector should be of the highest priority. 7th/Metro is crowded enough during rush how now, imagine how it will be like when the Expo line opens…

  • Lets focus on what’s important here. That’s a stunning photo, perfectly adjusted, perfect white balance. Pros, they’re so good.

  • It would be wonderful if the Gold line could extend to Ontario International Airport and keep coming East to Redlands. Lest you all forget, the Inland Empire and in fact the entire Los Angeles basin had a fantastic privately owned and operated electric light rail system that was world renowned until it was bought up and systematically shut down by a three corporations – F, GM and SO. I would like the light rail system back personally and would imagine millions more would too. Watch the vid, learn your history. http://tinyurl.com/ltykml

  • Swede with brains

    Jesus, everyone seems to think like wow this is such a good idea! Has it ever occurred to you how slow and stopping a light rail is? This isn’t a suburban rail or even a subway, but a mere LIGHT RAIL!!! Imagine how long it’ll take for it to do like 60 km from central LA to Ontario stopping every 2-3 km? I may be from Sweden but come on man, this is ridiculous. What WOULD however be a good idea is to change the Riverside Line route Pomona – Pedley to serve Ontario Airport. One could remove the East Ontario station and instead let Metrolink serve the current Amtrak station, from where trains would continue straight forward along the current Amtrak route as opposed to slightly turning right. Then a station could be built right opposite terminal 1, which will be the only terminal by then, and an airbridge could connect the station with the terminal. Finally, the trains would then return to the current Riverside Line and then call at Pedley and Riverside.
     
    Metrolink is a suburban rail network which is just what is suitable for this kind of outer suburban journey. A subway or light rail is far too slow and local to be efficient for this use.

  • Anonymous

    Did it ever occur to you that not everyone will be in as big a hurry and wouldn’t mind the wait for paying $5 for an all day pass, vs $9-$13 each way for Metrolink. It will be slow, but still a good option to have.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

L.A. and San Bernardino Inter-County Transit/Rail Planning Meetings Kick Off

|
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is seeking to develop a comprehensive overview of potential transportation and rail improvement options in the corridor bridging L.A. Counties and San Bernardino counties. Los Angeles and San Bernardino inter-county cooperation could expand transit access to cities near the county border. A number of significant inter-county transportation projects are […]

The Future of the Metro Gold Line and the San Gabriel Valley

|
American Institute of Architects: First Friday Series Guest Speaker:  Mr. Habib F. Balien, Chief Executive Officer Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority In the year 2000, work began on the 13.7 mile Los Angeles-to-Pasadena Gold Line.  It was two years after the California State Legislature adopted SB 1847 creating the Metro Gold Line Construction […]

Foothill Gold Line Glendora-to-Montclair Extension Ready, Waiting for Voters

|
Last March beneath the omnipresent San Gabriel Mountains, the Foothill Gold Line’s Pasadena to Azusa extension opened up to residents and commuters alike. Financed by Measure R sales tax returns, the Pasadena to Azusa extension opened to higher-than-expected ridership numbers, indicating the growing region’s desire for increased light rail connectivity and a commuting alternative to jam-packed traffic on […]

Foothill Gold Line Conference Builds Momentum To Extend

|
The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority hosted a one-day State of the Project 2016 conference today at Pomona College. Elected officials, agency leaders and others gathered to hear some success stories from previous segments, but mostly to look ahead to extending the Gold Line eastward to Montclair, and possibly further. The Foothill Gold […]