Gold Line east side extension
Extending the Gold line LRT to Whittier gets "C-" letter grade.
Whittier Bl in east LA is the commercial spine of the eastside and the City of Whittier is one of the only major suburban bedroom communities in SoCal with no direct freeway access and/or Metrolink rail lines to the jobs in Downtown LA and the Westside. Metro has been trying since the '90's to service the transit dependent eastside, and when the Gold line opened in 2009, they chose to run the line through the E.LA Civic Center with the idea of extending the line east to South El Monte. This route missed the major commercial spine of Whittier bl and also too far north to service the city of Whittier. Because of the lack of funds, Metro has turned to creating a $6 BILLION "C" shaped extension as a sort of catch-all solution.
At $379 million per mile, the two pronged Gold Line East Side Extensions will be by far the most expensive Light Rail lines ever built in Southern California (Regional Connector excluded) and will create a service bottleneck at the T-Interchange, leading to decreased service to Downtown LA on one or both of the lines.
THE A+ SOLUTION
With HyRail being fast, cheap, and grade separated, Whittier can have a dedicated line direct to Downtown LA/Staples Center/Convention Center at the Pico transfer station to the Metro Expo/Blue lines with a possible extension into West Hollywood (under HyRail plan). With costs ranging from $2-$2.7 Billion for the brand new 13.9 mile HyRail line, Metro would save up to $1 Billion.
The Gold line extension along route 60 is a direct route and makes the most sense as an extension of the Gold Line Light Rail and should be extended.
With HyRail being a fast and effective way to deliver people from their homes to the jobs of Downtown and the West Side in under an hour, this extension into Whittier would be an ideal park and ride facility for people who can afford the less pricey San Gabriel and Pomona Valley areas. The hundreds of millions saved by switching to HyRail can be spent reserving land for affordable housing in east LA and the San Gabriel Valley area.