Metro Says ‘No’ To Request For Delayed Gold Line Station Opening

Workers displayed the Kinkisharyo P3010 rail cars at the Azusa Downtown Station Saturday, September 19. The rail cars are assembled in Palmdale, California. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

The Gold Line Foothill Extension’s Citrus College/APU Station will open March 5, despite objections from officials in Azusa who have asked the opening be delayed for safety reasons.

Azusa city officials, Azusa Pacific University and Rosedale Land Partners asked that the station’s opening be delayed until remaining roadwork connecting Citrus Avenue and Foothill Boulevard  near the station is completed sometime in the summer, said Habib Balian, Gold Line Foothill Extension CEO, in an email last week.

Rosedale Land Partners has not yet broken ground on said roadwork.

Metro Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas mailed the response to Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha January 13 and reiterated the last station along the 11.5-mile, six-station extension will still open in March.

“The Gold Line Extension has been anxiously awaited by members of the surrounding communities. Metro believes it is our duty as responsible stewards of the public trust to open the Gold Line Extension with all stations, as expected, on March 5, 2016,” Ridley-Thomas said.

The Metro Board Chair also reiterated that Metro has operated rail lines in close proximity to construction zones at many locations.

Metro and the Foothill Extension Construction Authority intend to hire a firm to assess traffic around the station to determine if additional enhancements could be in place by the March 5 opening, Ridley-Thomas said.

Metro also plans to utilize safety ambassadors for a minimum of two weeks to assist passengers with access and safety issues, while a two-bus shuttle service will connect Citrus College and APU students to the station during all scheduled school hours.