The former Gold Line, now an integral part of the expanded A Line, commemorates its 20th anniversary this week.
On July 26, 2003, the old Gold Line’s inaugural section between Union Station and Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena welcomed throngs of enthusiastic commuters and residents.
Initially spanning 13.7 miles, the Gold Line commenced its journey as an extension of the Blue Line in the 1990s, but faced several challenges and delays before coming to fruition. The efforts from the communities in the San Gabriel Valley, along with the dedication of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, ultimately led to the successful construction of the line from Pasadena to SGV.
Over the years, the Gold Line has undergone significant expansions, reaching East LA in 2009 and Azusa in 2016. Currently, the line is awaiting the extension to Pomona, set to open its doors to the public in 2025.
In a game-changing move, the recently updated Regional Connector Transit Project, which commenced operations on June 16, 2023, merged the A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) lines, streamlining the transit network at the core of Downtown Los Angeles. With this, the A and L lines will form a seamless 49.5-mile route, connecting Azusa to Long Beach. Meanwhile, the E Line will span 22.5 miles, linking East Los Angeles to Santa Monica, making the new A line the longest light-rail route in the nation.
With the introduction of the Regional Connector, the L line designation, formerly the Gold Line, has been officially retired.
The Gold Line has significantly transformed transportation in Pasadena, bringing numerous changes to the community.
Firstly, the extension has led to a considerable increase in transit ridership, providing a sustainable alternative for commuters. Additionally, the six Gold Line stations in Pasadena have spurred economic growth and development, thanks to transit-oriented development initiatives. This improvement in connectivity is set to bridge the gap between Long Beach and Pasadena, further enhancing accessibility and mobility.