Two Perspectives on Gold Line Eastside Phase Two Extension

Picture of Gold Line Train

One by Congresswoman Judy Chu, and one by two Whittier city councilmen.

Naturally, I prefer the Pomona Freeway alignment. It'll serve the Shops at Montebello, which would mean an easy link between Rosemead and the Gold Line (straight down the Montebello 20 bus, or take MTA 287 to the mall). Other Montebello Bus Lines and Foothill Transit lines also serve the mall, making it a logical intermodal transit node for the region.

The mall is also a large trip generator, possibly the largest single trip generator along either route. People come to work and shop at the mall, the hotels, and the medical offices there. It makes sense to expand public transit options to this location. In fact, even if MTA were to eventually adopt the Washington Blvd alignment for the main route, they ought to also build a spur running to the Montebello Mall ("The Shops at Montebello"), and then on into South El Monte, with possible extensions into Industry, if and when a stadium is ever built. Connecting it to the Metrolink station in Industry also makes sense as it would help spur usage of Metrolink, as well.

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They're both so-so

They're both so-so extensions. I'm inclined toward the 60 too, for the obvious reason that it'd be more useful to me.

There are some opportunities for transit oriented development, or to make existing developments more transit oriented. Maybe they could knock down the Jack in the Box and McDonalds, and put a TOD there :)

A stop at Whittier Narrows would be popular and improve the quality of life for many people... but at the risk of overwhelming the parks. For people in LA, it would be a really nice thing to be able to take the train to Whittier Narrows, which has become a popular venue for different festivals. Right now, I think no other large parks are accessible by train.

The Washington route also has its charms - or lack thereof. It runs through an industrial area, making it more work-oriented, which I consider good. It means people who work along the route will tend to favor living along the route.

Again, an improvement in the quality of life. Not so dramatic as the park, but an improvement that can add up over time, and would improve the communities along the route.

Both articles had their lame moments. Chu's was wasting time talking about the stadium, which is out of reach of the proposed line. The Whittier guys were wrong about how people use light rail - they were describing how people use the bus - indicating that they don't understand transit.

In fact, only Todd got it right!

People really like the train when you can make a trip with a single transfer. Either start at a train station, and then transfer to a bus, or start on a bus line and transfer to a train. The remainder of the trip is a walk of half a mile or so.

Development needs to occur at the train stations - either jobs at the stations (the more likely scenario), or residences at the stations.

Well, night reader, that's

Well, night reader, that's probably because I'm the only one of the three who actually rides public transit!

My latest "discovery" is the MTA's "Silver Line" bus. It runs from El Monte Transit Center along the I-10 HOV lane, makes a short turn through downtown (passing Union Station, Civic Center station, Disney Concert Hall, MOCA, and Metro Center), then heads on Figueroa, past Chick Hearn station, Staples Center, LA Live, and the Convention Center, then on past USC. Eventually, it gets on to the Harbor Freeway transitway, with several stops, including at the Green Line Station, then on to the Artesia Transit Center.

The wisdom of the line is that it's a one-ride trip to a number of destinations in downtown LA, a one-ride trip into South LA (including the Green Line), and they'll accept a day pass as full fare (or $2.25 each way if you pay cash). Any other MTA bus from El Monte requires a two-zone up-charge ($2.90 each way total if you're paying cash, or roughly $40/month extra on your montnly pass).

Because you need to head "backwards" from Rosemead to get to El Monte, it's not a perfect solution. It's not necessarily any faster than other routes, but it eliminates a downtown change of seats, which increases convenience and predictability. It also creates an alternative route to USC, the LA County Natural History Museum, and the CA State Science Center. And, as I noted earlier, it's cheaper.

Silver Line

What an interesting idea for a line. Tourists could see LA over a few days and just know to board the silver line.