Given the project timeline and ongoing efforts to finalize station design for the 5 project cities (Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas, Pomona, and Claremont), now is a particularly opportune moment to review the pros/cons of the existing Gold Line station design and first-mile/last-mile access for people on foot/bike, and hopefully improve upon it for the $1 billion + final leg to the LA County border.
Existing Station Parking (For Cars and Bikes)
When the Gold Line extension to Azusa opened in March 2016 the new line's popularity was quickly overshadowed by a perception that there was a severe shortage of free automobile parking. Frustrated 210 commuters found that station parking along the line's eastern-most stations (Azusa, Irwindale) was reaching capacity at 7am or even earlier on weekdays. Lost amidst the discussion was the high cost of "free" station parking; in an elevated structure, parking spaces typically cost Metro $25,000+ a piece, with underground parking running $35,000+ per space. With 1,437 parking spaces built in structures between Arcadia and Azusa, the ballpark cost of the line's free parking alone was over $35 million (1,437 x $25,000), not counting ongoing maintenance costs to Metro, or the opportunity costs of using valuable station adjacent land for other purposes such as mixed use, transit-friendly, residential housing with some parking, especially in the midst of a major housing crisis (e.g., see South Pasadena station).
The below table outlines secure capacity, usage, and waitlists for Gold Line Bike Parking as of December 2016.
According to the Gold Line Construction Authority's planning figures (page 4) for the Claremont/Montclair extension, new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Montclair would provide over three times the amount of station car parking (5,080 spaces) than across the 6 stations along the Arcadia to Azusa segment, 5 of which would be new multi-story parking structures:
- Glendora Station - new parking structure: 420 spaces
- San Dimas Station - new parking structure: 450 spaces
- La Verne Station - new parking structure: 600 spaces
- Pomona Station - new parking structure: 750 spaces
- Claremont Station - new parking structure: 1,260 spaces
- Montclair Station - existing surface lot: 1,600 spaces
- Total: 3,480 structure spaces; 5,080 total spaces
The ballpark cost of 3,480 new structure spaces: $87 million dollars, assuming a $25,000 per space cost.
Existing Gold Line extension planning documents do not state if triple the secure bicycle parking is also planned for the next 6 stations, only that station bicycle parking will meet Metro required standards. As the bicycle locker table underlines, demand for paid, secure bicycle parking is high across the Gold Line corridor, underlining the need for additional capacity. Given the large university student populations in several of the Claremont/Montclair extension cities, we expect demand for such facilities to be even higher than in cities like Irwindale (population 1,400) and Duarte. Secure bicycle parking facilities would not per se have to be entirely in the form of lockers, either, with other options such as card-access bicycle cages such as the one pictured below serving as a lower cost, higher security alternative.
Given the many health, environmental, financial and equity impacts of constructing bike and automobile parking along transit lines, BikeSGV staff and volunteers will be attending the next Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Meeting to make the case for smart bicycle parking in the project's final phase. If you are interested in this issue, we strongly encourage you to join us at the meeting, or submit comments via email to board clerk Chris Lowe (email@example.com).
- What: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board Meeting
- Where: Foothill Gold Line Office, 406 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 202, Monrovia, CA 91016
- When: Wednesday, January 25 (7pm)
The Issue in Numbers
- $48 - Metro bicycle locker membership fee for one year
- $3,500 - Approximate cost to purchase one stainless steel bicycle locker
- 24,121 - Number of Metro owned/operated car parking spaces, over 90% of which are "free"
- $25,000 - Approx. construction cost of one car parking space in a parking structure
- $504,000 - Approx. cost of purchasing 144 bicycle lockers for Arcadia to Azusa stations
- $35,000,000 - Approx. construction cost of 1,403 structure auto parking spaces, Arcadia to Azusa stations
- $87,000,000 - estimated cost of 3,408 planned structure car parking for Gold Line Claremont extension
- Metro Bike Locker Program - includes up to date lists of existing station capacity and waitlist numbers
- Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority - Glendora to Montclair Phase
- LA Streetsblog - New Map Shows Metro's 20,000+ Parking Spaces, Mostly Free
- LA Streetsblog - #DamienTalksSGV - Gold Line Parking
- Bike Link - On demand, card access, secure bike parking service