Ontario eyeing Gold Line extension

The city of Ontario has its eyes on the proposed foothill extension of Los Angeles County’s Gold Line light rail. The current proposal has the extension heading eastward from Pasadena to Montclair in San Bernardino County. However, Ontario — the next city over — would like to see it extended even further, namely to Ontario International Airport on the city’s eastern end:

The idea of making the airport the final destination on the Gold Line light-rail service that runs from Los Angeles to Pasadena seems to be gaining favor, Mayor Paul Leon said Tuesday.
… Sonjia Murray, director of SH&E International Air Transport Consultancy, said Ontario keeps becoming a more attractive option for airlines. She cited the airport’s prime location, its room for expansion, the uncommon level of support it has from local leaders and the reputation of its owner, Los Angeles World Airports, which also owns LAX.
“Maybe not tomorrow, but five, 10 and 15 years from now, this is going to be the place you’re going to want to be and where you’re going to want to have been invested,” Murray said.
Ontario Daily Bulletin

We see this as a win-win situation for all parties involved. Not only would it give the Gold Line a truly “regional” end-point — and hence, better ridership — it also opens the door to future extensions of the line to both San Bernardino and Riverside.

Metro Gold Line
proposed foothill extension

Although the Inland region is still relatively spread out, areas in Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and San Bernardino are indeed beginning to add density, both in commercial and residential. Moreover, such transit options would make higher density projects much more viable as well as set the stage for future “smart” growth, including transit oriented developments.
Thus, we recommend other local cities — particularly Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga as well as both the cities and counties of Riverside and San Bernardino — should vigorously support the Ontario extension as it could be the genesis for a future light rail system within Inland Southern California. Such a system could be a powerful economic catalyst, helping the region become more self-sufficient.
However, in light of how long it takes to get light rail systems planned, funded, built and operating, now’s the time to begin planning ahead — before it’s too late and too costly.

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