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December 4th, 2008
Study Concludes Extending Light Rail to LA/Ontario International Airport is Feasible

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PR – A 10-month study that examined whether it is feasible to extend the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from its planned terminus in Montclair to LA/Ontario International Airport has been completed. The study showed that extending the light rail line to the airport is feasible, and also identified two preferred routes out of the 13 original route alternatives that were examined.

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Board of Directors is now hosting open houses in Rancho Cucamonga and Upland to give residents a chance to learn about the preferred routes. The Board narrowed the route options from the original 13 based on technical evaluations and extensive feedback from the public and key stakeholders.

The open houses will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A December 3 open house will be held in Upland at the Andrew Carnegie Library and Cultural Center, 123 East “D” St., and the second open house will be held December 4 in Rancho Cucamonga at the James L. Brulte Senior Center, Clay Creek Room, 11200 Baseline Rd.

Potential station locations in Montclair, Upland, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga will also be presented at the meetings.

“It’s encouraging to know that a transportation option that the community so strongly supports is feasible,” said Habib Balian, CEO of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. “Extending the Gold Line to LA/Ontario International Airport will potentially add up to 14,000 riders a day to the system, which will ultimately connect the Inland Empire with the San Gabriel Valley and downtown Los Angeles. Many of these potential riders have provided us with invaluable feedback on which routes they’d like to see. We appreciate the community’s input and will continue to work with our stakeholders as we move forward.”

The study is the first step in a process required by the federal government for eventual project funding. Now that the study is complete, the Gold Line Foothill Extension to LA/Ontario International Airport is moving on to the next phase, which involves more detailed environmental and engineering review.

Ontario Mayor Paul Leon has urged transportation leaders to start the process to build an extension to LA/Ontario International Airport as soon as possible, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also has endorsed the plan as part of his vision to shift demand from LAX to other regional airports.

Additionally, a survey recently conducted of likely voters in the San Gabriel Valley showed that nearly 90 percent of people residing in cities along the Gold Line Foothill Extension corridor would take the light rail line if it was extended to LA/Ontario International Airport.

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