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Gold Line extension to Montclair could get cap-and-trade funding

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The project has a $280 million funding gap

Gold Line passing over a bridge
The latest extension will bring the Gold Line from its current terminus in Azusa to Montclair, in San Bernardino County.
Metro - Los Angeles

A group of Los Angeles area officials requested last week that $280 million in state cap-and-trade dollars be used to complete Metro’s Gold Line extension to Montclair.

Work on the 12.3-mile rail project is expected to get underway in October, but it faces a significant funding gap.

The $1.4 billion project is primarily being paid for through funds collected through the Measure M sales tax hike approved by LA County voters in November. Earlier this year, though, an updated plan for the project moved the project’s completion date from 2023 to 2026. The cost of labor for those extra few years has swelled the budget beyond what’s allocated for the project by Measure M.

Additionally, as the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports, the San Bernardino County Transportation Agency, which will pay for the portion of the project that travels between Claremont and Montclair, is $31 million short of its financing goal.

But help from the state may be on the way. State Senators Anthony Portantino and Connie Leyva, along with Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez sent a letter Thursday to other members of the state legislature requesting the necessary $280 million to complete the project.

The money will come from the state’s cap-and-trade program, which supports projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Portantino, Leyva, and Rodriguez argue that the train will reduce emissions by giving commuters an alternative to driving, and thus getting cars off the road.

Regardless of when the additional funding becomes available, work on the extension should start later this year. Once complete, the light rail line will continue from its current terminus in Azusa to Montclair, passing through Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont along the way.