Claremont Insider: Gold Line Still in Limbo

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gold Line Still in Limbo

The Daily Bulletin interviewed Congressman David Dreier and the discussion turned to the Gold Line Foothill Extension, whose future now depends on the Los Angeles County voters approving a half-cent sales tax increase in November for money to fund transportation projects in the county.

As the article explained the Gold Line Extension lost out on $320 million in federal funds because the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) decided not to provide the funds needed to qualify for the feds' money:

Dreier spoke to the Daily Bulletin editorial board Monday on a variety of issues including the economic slowdown, foreclosure crisis and the fate of the Gold Line extension.

He recently worked with Congress members Hilda Solis, Adam Schiff and Grace Napolitano on a 30-minute Web segment to inform residents how to put pressure on the MTA board regarding the Gold Line issue.

The light rail project, which would connect Pasadena to Montclair and perhaps eventually to the L.A./Ontario International Airport, had the opportunity to receive $320million in federal funding if MTA contributed $80million. But the board decided to wait to see if voters will approve a half-cent sales tax measure this November for transit projects, thereby missing the deadline for federal money.

"We can't give up," Dreier said. "Think of all the relief (the Gold Line extension) can provide. The excitement I hear from people...they say, `My God, if I can park my car and get to downtown L.A. and all these places so easily, that would be wonderful.'"

The Gold Line prospects seem very uncertain at this point, and the MTA refused to guarantee all of the money allocated to extension out of the November sale tax measure. As sometimes happens with these things, other priorities could arise after November that might cause the money to be redirected elsewhere - the Subway to the Sea, for instance.