The long-awaited light rail train service on Metro’s recently-completed Gold Line extension will begin March 5, 2016, it was announced this afternoon, Oct. 22, 2015.
Last month work on the 11.5-mile line from Pasadena to Azusa was announced as substantially complete, with Metro announcing that they would announce a start date for service in a month.
A month earlier, the station in Arcadia was dedicated.
Like everything else on the nearly $1 billion, six-station project that has been under design and construction for five years and involved 2.4 million work hours, Metro and Foothill Construction Authority have been good to their word, with the announcement coming immediately following the Metro Board meeting downtown L.A.
Officials estimate trains will run every 12-minutes during rush hour and less frequently during off-peak hours. Although tracks cross four roadways in Arcadia, only one of those — First Avenue at Santa Clara Street — will be impacted by the train crossings since the other three cross on bridges over the 210 Foothill Freeway, Colorado Avenue west of Santa Anita Avenue, and Huntington Drive at Second Avenue. Travel time from Union Station downtown L.A. to a new terminus near Azusa Pacific University is expected to be about 48 minutes.
The Gold Line currently has about 44,000 boardings per day along the route connecting Union Station and the Sierra Madre Villa stop in Pasadena. The extension opening in the spring will add about 13,500 daily boardings next year, Metro said. By 2035, there should be 66,000 passenger trips per day between downtown and the new Azusa station, according to Metro projections.
The press conference last month at Construction Authority headquarters included Habib F. Balian, Chief Executive Officer, Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority; Chris Burner, Chief Project Officer, Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority; Matt Scott, Vice President and District Manager, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.; Kevin Haboian, Senior Vice President, Parsons Transportation Group; and Rick Meade, Executive Officer Project Management, Metro. The event included the signing of a Substantial Completion Certificate, recognizing that all conditions have been met by the design-build team, Foothill Transit Constructors – a Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture, to reach substantial completion.
Next stop on the overall $2 billion, 12-station extension being overseen by the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority — an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature — is the Azusa to Montclair segment, which is in the process of getting final funding and approvals.
— By Scott Hettrick