Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) wants the Gold Line to go just a little farther.
Current plans, call for the light rail route to stop in Montclair, just miles away from the Ontario Airport.
So now, the former Pasadena City Councilman has introduced legislation that would lay the groundwork to extend the Gold Line to the Ontario Airport.
“Light-rail is playing a critical role in reducing our carbon footprint, improving air quality, and connecting communities throughout the region,” Holden said. “These benefits will expand into San Bernardino County once the Metro Gold Line Extension to Montclair is completed, and have a greater impact if extended to Ontario Airport.”
Holden’s history with the Gold Line spans over 30 years. Prior to his election to the Pasadena City Council, Holden served on the Pasadena Light Rail Alignment Task Force established in 1985 to identify the light rail route alternatives in Pasadena. He is a former board president of the Burbank- Glendale- Pasadena Airport Authority where he served as a commissioner for 20 years.
AB 2011 would create the West San Bernardino County Rail Construction Authority that would be responsible for designing and building the extension from Montclair to the Airport. The new construction authority would include representation from the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Ontario International Airport Authority, and the cities of Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and Ontario.
The current Metro Gold Line extension is already set to reach San Bernardino County with new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair.
The current terminus planned for Montclair, however, is just six miles short of the Ontario International Airport – a critical airport and economic driver for San Bernardino, Riverside, and parts of Los Angeles Counties,
“The Ontario International Airport is a convenient and rapidly expanding traveling option for many residents across San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. Though we have seen significant progress in the extension of the Foothill Gold Line, which is planned to terminate in the transit center in the City of Montclair, there is no definitive plan to connect passengers from the transit center to the airport,” said Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez. “Creating a nexus between Montclair’s transit center and the Ontario airport is a monumental endeavor, and will require a dedicated construction authority whose sole purpose is constructing a connection that will best serve both San Bernardino and Los Angeles County residents.”
Holden chairs the Select Committee on Regional Transportation Solutions. This committee explores solutions to improve multi-modal interconnectivity between communities, establish sustainable transportation infrastructure, and relieve traffic congestion. He plans to hold his next Select Committee Informational Hearing at Ontario City Hall on Friday. One of the panels will discuss the economic and environmental benefits of multimodal and interregional connections to Burbank and Ontario airports.
Holden has already submitted a budget request to Governor Gavin Newsom for LA Metro to study the feasibility of an extension to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.
“As a former City Council Member and Mayor of Pasadena, I championed early efforts to establish the Metro Gold Line, which turned out to be more successful than anyone anticipated just like the recent extension to Azusa,” said Holden. “Extending the Gold Line to Ontario Airport will propel both San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County into our new transportation future”