Rep. Chu and other Los Angeles County Members of Congress at the Gold Line groundbreaking.
Transportation is one of my top priorities in the San Gabriel Valley. We need a transportation system that will improve the environment and create jobs. That’s why I am fighting to quickly expand our transit options and turn our region into a model for the 21st century.
Residents of the San Gabriel Valley commute miles to work and sit for hours in traffic. Our region deserves the same transportation options as the rest of the county: a light rail system, a robust bus network, and freeways with smooth interchanges and carpool lanes.
I strongly believe we must complete the Gold Line Foothill Extension to connect Pasadena to Azusa through Arcadia, but also all the way to Glendora, Pomona, and Claremont.
I knew I had to act when the Los Angeles County Transportation Board was going to pass a long-term plan to prevent the Gold Line from applying for federal funds or even completing the project early. In a move that MTA had not ever seen before, I helped convince 14 Congressmembers, both Democrats and Republicans, to sign a letter to urge MTA to permit the Gold Line to apply for federal funding. Afterwards, I wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Times to raise awareness and convince board members to reconsider their position. Thanks to these actions, the board felt the pressure and finally voted to allow the Gold Line to apply for federal funding and to complete the phase to Azusa early.
Later in June 2010, I proudly stood with a shovel in my hand to break ground on constructing the first Foothill Extension phase to Azusa.
On March 5, 2016, this first phase opened for service. This extension extends the Gold Line for 11.5 miles from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. The project includes 24 bridges and 14 street-level crossings. The new extension will attract about 13,500 riders daily in this year. By 2035, about 66,000 people per day will ride the full length of the Gold Line. Clearly, this was a wise investment for transit in the San Gabriel Valley.
But I am not giving up. More funding will be needed to complete the second phase out west. That is why I was thrilled to see that in March 2016, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) included the second phase of the Gold Line as a project to be funded by a potential ballot measure in November 2016. I will do all I can in Congress and with the support of local and regional transit partners to support the construction of the second phase of the Gold Line extension.
Gold Line Eastside Extension
For years, East Los Angeles residents and beyond have had difficulty getting to work, visiting their friends and family, and running errands throughout the city. Even though East LA residents are three times more likely to take public transit than the rest of the County, they’re forced to endure long walks to the bus stop only to board overcrowded buses that travel slowly through the streets, in addition to transfer delays and long travel times.
The Eastside Gold Line Extension has been a success since its completion in 2009, but we can’t stop there. I am actively pushing to extend the line along the SR-60 all the way to El Monte and will fight to bring federal dollars to help build it.
Supporting the Alameda Corridor East (ACE) Project to make our streets safer and less congested.
I strongly support the Alameda Corridor East (ACE) Project. Sixty percent of our nation’s shipping containers come through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, through the San Gabriel Valley, and then go out all across the country. To move those goods faster and safer, we need to separate the trains from the car traffic through grade separations, which redirect the traffic to go below or above the railroad crossing. This is exactly what ACE is doing. Tremendous progress has been made, most recently with the opening of the Baldwin Avenue overpass. I am truly looking forward to the San Gabriel Trench, near the San Gabriel Mission. The construction of this overpass will greatly improve the safety and traffic of the region.
I have fought to secure federal funding for the ACE project through the federal grants process, and to date, ACE has completed eight crossings and seven more are under construction. I will continue supporting transportation projects that make our commutes safer and easier.
I also testified at a House Transportation Committee hearing on how important it was to devote a section of a new transportation bill to a national freight infrastructure investment program. This program would prioritize nationally significant projects, like the Alameda Corridor East. I am a proud osponsor of legislation to establish these funding streams to invest in this necessary freigh infrastructure.
After years of short-term patches to infrastructure spending, we finally have a five-year reauthorization of important transit programs. On November 5, 2015, I voted for H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year reauthorization of funds for highway, bridge, transportation safety, and public transit projects.
I wrote to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in June 2015, and I was thrilled to see that they agreed: we need to invest in infrastructure in California. The San Gabriel Valley is set to benefit from a number of provisions in this bill. The FAST Act includes $13 billion to repair and upgrade bus and rail systems. It also will support the repair of more bridges by bringing back federal funding for locally owned bridges. Of particular importance to Southern California, this bill opens up funding for freight projects to local governments, which is crucial as most of the country’s freight moves through the region and out to the rest of the country.
I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to support robust funding to build today the infrastructure we need for tomorrow.
More on Transportation
Accomplishments During the 114th Congress (2014-2016)
Bringing more federal resources to the San Gabriel Valley is one of my top priorities. This is why I partner with federal agencies to ensure that we have access to federal programs and funding that could benefit our region. I am proud to have worked with these agencies and the President’s Administration on the following initiatives.
“Flying while Muslim is not a crime and our airlines industry should not act as though it is,” Chu said in a separate statement. “I look forward to hearing back and working with Airlines for America to understand what procedures are in place to evaluate current threats and to ensure that no passenger is the unfair target of racial or religious profiling.”