The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that their expansion of the Metro Goldline Foothill Extension, encompassing six new stations with connections to Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa, will open on March 5.
The addition of the Goldline Extension cost about $1 billion and provides an alternative to the often congested 210 freeway as well as a straight route to many cities throughout California that would otherwise be a much longer commute via other modes of transportation.
According to Metro, the railways see about 1.4 million passengers on an average weekday, and they expect these numbers to increase with the opening of the new stations.
Many PCC students utilize the Metro as an inexpensive and fast way to get to school on a daily or weekly basis, and through the expansion of the Goldline, the convenience of the railways will increase, encouraging more students to turn to this type of transportation.
Danny Larson is a freshman at PCC and uses the Metro buses to get to and from school.
“I live just down the street from the Duarte stop,” Larson said. “I can’t wait for it to open up because I take the bus to school right now and I have to catch the bus at 7:30 a.m. to make it to my 8:45 a.m. class. I’ll be able to sleep in longer once the new stops open up and take it right to school.”
There is also potential for Larson to use the new expansion for purposes other than just transportation to and from school.
“I’ll be going to Los Angeles and Long Beach much more,” he said. “I can go anywhere with my TAP card, it’s great. The train opening up more stops was part of the reason I went full time this semester, because I could get a tap card all semester long.”
PCC participates in the I-TAP program, which is operated in conjunction with the Los Angeles Metro, and, according to the Associated Students, the purchase of a card, which costs $30 per semester, allows students unlimited travel on all Metro transportation, both railways and busses. The cost of an I-TAP card is about half that of a PCC parking permit that allows students to park on campus. Students qualify for a I-TAP card by maintaining a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
According to Lisa Whiting, an accounting clerk in the student business services center, there has not been a notable increase in the sales of I-TAP cards among students in anticipation for the opening of the Goldline addition.
“We have not had a huge jump in sales, just the same couple of hundred,” Whiting said. “You would think there would have been!”
Larson said that living with the process of the new stops being built was an enduring one. He is glad it is over, but ready to enjoy the benefits of the Goldline’s new stations.
“The only drawback has been the construction all around Monrovia and in Azusa. It has made life harder for the past few years,” Larson said.