PHOTOS: Thousands Flock To Foothill Extension Grand Opening

Patrons line up at the opening of te Citrus College/APU Station Saturday, March 5. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Even a brief bout of precipitation couldn’t rain on Azusa’s parade Saturday as residents and riders from beyond flocked to the newly-opened Gold Line Foothill Extension.

Festivities in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa began at 11 a.m., with official service beginning an hour later. Many of the stations along the 11.5-mile Extension were positively filled with curious residents and riders from cities along the Gold Line route

A seemingly endless stream of Gold Line riders eager to take a journey in the new trains from the Citrus College/APU Station had to wait as long as an hour or more to board westbound trains.

The wait line snaked from the platform through the parking structure, where leaving drivers had to navigate around those waiting their turn.

Azusa City Council members were on hand at the dual celebration at the Downtown Azusa Station, along with Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority board Chairman Doug Tessitor and Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha spoke to the crowd about life in Azusa as a child, going on train trips with his mother to the dentist in Monrovia on Myrtle Avenue. Now families can enjoy trips beyond.

“My world was from Azusa, to Monrovia, to the dentist. Now ladies and gentlemen, with your kids you can go into LA and enjoy cultural activities,” Rocha said.

The area hasn’t seen electric passenger rail service since the Pacific Electric Red Car last rolled out from LA to Glendora in September of 1951. The last time the area saw any passenger service was January of 1994 when the last Amtrak Southwest Chief rode from Los Angeles to San Bernardino.

Riders must use a TAP card for purchasing fare on the Gold Line. TAP cards can be purchased for $1 at station kiosks or at transit centers. Cash value can be loaded onto each card.

Gold Line Fares

  • Regular fare: $1.75. Includes two hours of free transfers.
  • Metro Daily Pass: $7
  • Metro Weekly Pass: $25
  • Metro 30-day Pass: $100

Discounted Fare

  • Regular fare: 75 cents for seniors, disabled and Medicare recipients (35 cents during off-peak hours); $1 for K-12 students
  • Metro Daily Pass: $2.50 for seniors, disabled and Medicare recipients
  • Metro 30-day Pass: $20 for seniors, disabled and Medicare recipients; $43 for college and vocational students; $24 for K-12 students.