Metro Opens Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa

The Metro Gold Line has arrived in Azusa. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A. except where noted
The Metro Gold Line now extends east to Azusa. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A. except where noted

Last Saturday, Metro extended its growing rail network, celebrating the grand opening of the 11-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension. The initial phase of the Foothill Extension includes six new stations in five San Gabriel Valley cities: Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa. Additional future phases would extend the Gold Line to Ontario Airport.

The Foothill Gold Line will extend from Pasadena to Azusa, with six new stations slated to open in September 2015. Image via Metro
The Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa. Image via Metro

Kick-off festivities began at the Duarte/City of Hope station, where a crowd of more than a thousand gathered to hear remarks from Metro board members, numerous representatives of the cities along the route, Metro’s CEO Phil Washington, and other luminaries.

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County Supervisor and Metro board chair Mark Ridley Thomas hosting the Gold Line opening festivities, proclaiming “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

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Metro CEO Phil Washington announcing the opening of the extension that makes the Gold Line Metro’s longest rail line, in what is now nearly 100 miles of Metro rail.
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County Supervisor and Metro board member Mike Antonovich welcomes the Foothill Gold Line.
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Elected officials cut the ribbon on the Gold Line Duarte Station platform. Photo by Aviv Kleinman

The initial train departed Duarte Station about 11:20 a.m. to celebrate at other stations along the line. Hundreds of people waited in line for the free train rides starting at noon. All afternoon, there were long lines to board trains, which were standing room only.

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Hundreds of people wait to board the Gold Line in Duarte.
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Free Gold Line train rides began at noon on Saturday. Photo by Aviv Kleinman
The view from the Gold Line train operator's seat. Photo by Aviv Kleinman
A view from the Gold Line train operator’s seat. Photo by Aviv Kleinman

Cities along the line hosted popular opening day festivities, featuring family activities, food, music, information booths, and much more.

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Chinese dragons dance at the Duarte Station.
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Aboard a children’s train ride, watching an early light rail train arrive at Duarte Station.

Free rides and large crowds continued celebrating the new rail line all afternoon. Below is a photo tour of the new line from west to east, Arcadia to Azusa. For more pictures from on the train, see SBLA’s earlier preview post.

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Gold Line crossing the new bridge over Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia
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The Gold Line pulling into the Arcadia Station
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Monrovia’s Station Square features a pedestrian plaza, outdoor theater and train-themed park.
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Large crowds and large parking structure at the Monrovia Station
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Westbound Gold Line train at the Irwindale Station
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Gold Line opening day festivities at the Irwindale Station
Crowds waiting to board the Gold Line in downtown Azusa
Crowds waiting to board the Gold Line in downtown Azusa

All in all, the opening drew large crowds of people excited to experience and celebrate Metro’s newest line. Hopefully many of them enjoyed the ride, and, now that they are familiar with the Gold Line, they will make transit part of their ongoing travel choices in the future.

Unfortunately, a freeway crash closed a portion of the Gold Line yesterday, but repairs were completed in time for this morning’s commute.

Streetsblog L.A. coverage of San Gabriel Valley livability is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown Los Angeles. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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