Stimulating economy while protecting environment
Creating easier and faster ways of transportation throughout California is always on the minds of politicians, and one political member is celebrating a win that’s 30 years overdue.
Assemblymember Chris Holden of District 41 recently celebrated the budget passing for the Gold Line. The Gold Line was created in 1986, a 13.7-mile train line that served from Los Angeles to Pasenda, making stops in Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Highland Park, South Pasadena, and Pasadena. The line took on various upgrades over the decades but continues to only serve the area it originally started with.
“This extension is about getting our communities connected, and as they say, our efforts were delayed, not denied,” Holden said about why getting the extension back in the budget was important. “With the Gold Line extension back in the budget, we have the opportunity to keep our promise to our community while stimulating our economy and protecting our environment. It is a win-win situation.”
Holden’s history with the Gold Line spans over 30 years. Before his election to the Pasadena City Council, Holden served on the Pasadena Light Rail Alignment Task Force, established in 1985, to identify the light rail route alternatives in Pasadena. He is a former board president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, where he was a commissioner for 20 years.
“Our community has been fighting for this extension long before it was removed from the budget earlier this year, and now is our chance to show it to the people,” said Holden. “For over 30 years, I championed the Gold Line going back to my time serving on the Pasadena Light Rail Alignment Task Force when we were identifying the light rail route alternatives in Pasadena. After decades, the time has finally come for us to unite these communities through the completion of the Gold Line.”
Legislators in the Assembly and the Senate voted to put money allocated toward the Gold Line Extension back into the budget after removing it earlier this year. Last year, forty billion dollars was allocated to expand the Gold Line project, Two billion dollars to impact the Los Angeles area, and another two billion dollars to connect the foothills. The current Metro Gold Line extension reaches San Bernardino County with new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair. The current terminus planned for Montclair, however, is just six miles short of the Ontario International Airport – a critical airport and economic driver for San Bernardino, Riverside, and parts of Los Angeles Counties,
“Light-rail is playing a critical role in reducing our carbon footprint, improving air quality, and connecting communities throughout the region,” Holden said. “These benefits will expand into San Bernardino County once the Metro Gold Line extension to Montclair is completed, and have a greater impact if extended to Ontario Airport.”
The project is about 18 months away from completion, but once it’s finished, it will reach Long Beach to Pasenda, with stops also in Pomona.