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Gold Line gets $6 million

The Federal Transit Administration was awarded $6 million in federal grant funding to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority for design and construction of improvements around the Foothill Extension station areas from Arcadia to Azusa. These funds are part of a $9 million multi-year grant, supported by federal Representatives David Dreier and Adam Schiff, to improve intermodal interface with the future stations for riders arriving by bus, bike or on-foot, according to an announcement Oct. 5 by the Construction Authority. This additional $6 million will be allocated to the design and construction of bus/pedestrian interface improvements. These funds will be used to directly enhance nearby streets around the future stations, including adding new bus shelters and benches, pedestrian lighting, street trees, bike lockers and racks, and new sidewalks and crosswalks. These funds will augment the improvements that are already planned as part of the Foothill Extension light rail extension, a $735 million project which will add six new stations in five cities and be completed in 2015.

“We are asked regularly about the “last mile” of the trip – the mile that connects riders from the station to their final destination,” said Habib F. Balian, CEO of the Construction Authority. “This grant allows us to not only study and make recommendations to support riders who want to connect to destinations without a car, but now allows us to build the infrastructure needed, making the stations more accessible and more appealing for future riders.”

This multi-year grant included the development of a detailed study of the existing bus, bike and pedestrian routes around each of the future stations. In August the Construction Authority released the final report which included a series of recommendations to support riders arriving to the stations without the use of an automobile. The study, available on the Construction Authority’s website, included extensive work with city staff, Metro, Foothill Transit, and future users. As part of the study, open house meetings were held in all of the station cities, on-board surveys of current Gold Line riders and bus riders on routes adjacent to the Foothill Extension were conducted, and telephone and mail back surveys were provided to local cycling groups and corridor residents. The public feedback helped to identify current deficiencies and possible improvements. The additional $6 million will go directly to funding real enhancements around the future stations.

— By Scott Hettrick

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