Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (CA-32), along with Congressman David Dreier (CA-26), local elected officials, businesses, and presidents of educational institutions, led a "Walk the Line" event in support of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension project.
The event highlighted the economic benefits of the Gold Line extension and included stops at planned stations in Azusa, Duarte and Monrovia. During the tour, leaders emphasized the need for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to include the project in its Long Range Transportation Plan. As early as its April meeting the MTA could consider its draft Long Range Transportation Plan and capital expenditures, including the future of the Foothill Extension.
"Investment in the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension is critical to our region's economic growth. For every $1 we spend on transportation infrastructure, our communities gain $6 in jobs and economic development," said Solis. "I hope decision makers and others in our community will join us to bring this valuable, ready to go transportation investment to our communities."
Communities have already invested more than $2 billion in development projects in the project's service area. Total economic benefits for the region over the next 30 years are estimated to be $43.6 billion.
"The population growth extending from the Foothills through to the Inland Empire is increasing traffic and increasing the demand for the Gold Line extension. There is a clear need for this extension, and we are working hard to build support for it," said Dreier.
"The many cities along the extension as well as the surrounding communities in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire have invested heavily in the extension and understand their investment will yield economic benefits through significant transit oriented development projects while improving the lives of their residents," said Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-29). "However, more help from MTA and the state is needed if we want to access federal dollars."
"Over the past four years, our independent construction authority has provided a focused, comprehensive transportation improvement plan for the San Gabriel Valley, the fastest growing segment of Los Angeles County. Our plan includes integrated transit oriented development growth options, and a highly feasible link to the Ontario Airport," said Habib Balian, CEO of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
"The most significant element of our plan is the involvement and support of cities throughout the corridor. The Foothill Extension is at the core of their future development and quality of life."
Solis and Dreier were joined by John Fasana (Duarte City Councilman and MTA Board Member), John Keen (Mayor of Covina), Jim Hilfenhaus (Director of Labor Local 300), Dr. Michael J. Viera (Superintendent/President of Citrus College), Jon R. Wallace, DBA (President of Azusa Pacific University), Joseph Rocha (Mayor of Azusa), Lisa Bailey (President of Irwindale Chamber of Commerce), students and other community leaders.