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More than 100 elected officials, project stakeholders and members of the community gathered to celebrate
Friday more than 100 elected officials, project stakeholders and members of the community gathered at the Metro Gold Line Del Mar Station to celebrate the 10th anniversary of passenger service on the Metro Gold Line light rail line. The initial segment of the Metro Gold Line opened on July 26, 2003, and ran between Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena. Completed on time and under budget by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority), the segment included 13 stations – six in Los Angeles, six in Pasadena and one in South Pasadena. Once completed, it was turned over to Metro to operate.
Since operation of the line began in 2003, millions of passengers have used the line. Ridership has increased consistently every year. Today, nearly 1.1 million rides occur on the line each month, a 300% increase since the initial monthly ridership in 2003 of just under 362,000.
Speaking at the event today was Congresswoman Judy Chu, State Assemblyman Chris Holden, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Construction Authority board chairman Doug Tessitor and numerous other local elected officials from the throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Here is what a few of the speakers said:
Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard began today’s celebration by welcoming everyone to Pasadena and then highlighting the changes that have occurred in the city since the Gold Line’s completion. “The Gold Line’s arrival has caused a true renaissance in the city of Pasadena. It has improved the fabric of our city and changed how our residents, workers and visitors travel every day.” He added, “Nearly 2,300 new residential units; 750,000 square feet of newly constructed retail and commercial space; as well as numerous other projects that either renovated or adaptively reused our historic buildings. Even using a conservative ratio, the transit oriented development projects in Pasadena along the Gold Line have already generated more than $1 billion dollars for the region.”
Congresswoman Judy Chu reminded the attendees that the Gold Line was not initially supported by Metro or some of the community members: “Over a decade ago, it wouldn’t have necessarily been a given that this Gold Line would have been completed. There was no easy way to get from Pasadena to downtown, and yet there was a lot of resistance to build this line – so much so that the state legislature had to create a new independent agency to construct the Gold Line.” She added: “This place is thriving and it is so active every single day. It’s such a success with the 44,000 riders every day; in fact, Art Leahy said that there are so many riders on this line that Metro is going to be buying more rail cars to speed up service and serve more public transportation customers.
The challenge is to continue this line to Claremont and then Ontario Airport.”
Assemblyman Chris Holden stated: “I remember back in the late 90’s when then Senator Adam Schiff took it upon himself to work through the legislature to create the Gold Line Construction Authority. That action was so pivotal to moving this project forward and creating the kind of synergy that it needed at the time; and certainly has put it on track to see it make its way out to the farthest eastern part of the San Gabriel Valley (and hopefully before not too long into the San Bernardino County area, connecting to the Ontario Airport).” He added: “It makes good sense, it’s common sense and it’s the kind of public transportation we want to encourage our citizens to take part in.”