As I have discussed many times in other posts here on The World on Wheels, living life with a disability of any kind comes with its own set of various challenges and obstacles that people like me have to face on a daily basis. One of those is figuring out how to get from point A to point B when we want or need to go somewhere.
For many years while I was growing up as a kid in Southern California, there really were not too many public transportation options for people with disabilities to get around on besides a few Metro and Foothill Transit bus routes here and there. The lack of multiple transportation options began to change in our area where we live when the Los Angeles County Metro Gold Line light rail train line was opened and began operation on July 26, 2003 from the Sierra Madre Villa in the eastern part of Pasadena, California.
Since then, there have been two extensions of the Metro Gold Line completed with a third one still to come and possibly a fourth one as well. The first extension of the line was opened on November 15, 2009 and it was called the Eastside Extension. That extension was built starting from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles all the way to the Atlantic Station located on Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles near Monterey Park.
The second extension of the Gold Line was known as the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The first phase of the Gold Line Foothill Extension opened on March 5, 2016 and the second phase of the this extension is scheduled to be opened sometime in the year 2026. The first phase of this extension of the Metro Gold Line was built starting from the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena and runs all the way to the Azusa Pacific University (APU)/Citrus College Station in the city of Azusa. When the second phase of the Gold Line Foothill Extension does open in 2026, the line will then run even further from the APU/Citrus College Station all the way to the city of Montclair, California at the Montclair Transcenter.
In addition to those extensions of the Metro Gold Line mentioned above, there is also supposed to be a second phase of the Eastside Extension of the line extending it from Atlantic Station in East L.A. to either the city of South El Mente or Whittier or possibly both. Such an extension of that part of the Metro Gold Line is in the under consideration discussion phase at this time and therefore has not yet been fully approved to start being constructed.
Of all the line extensions that have been finished and completed up to this point of the Metro Gold Line, the one that has been the most beneficial to my family and I by far has been the Foothill Extension. That's because my family and I live not too far away from the Duarte/City of Hope and Monrovia stations just east of Pasadena, California.
Besides the Gold Line there are a total of 3 other light rail lines (Blue, Expo and Green) and 2 color coded heavy rail subway lines (Red and Purple). That makes for a grand total of 6 rail lines that are currently in use on the Los Angeles County Metro Rail transportation system.
The Blue Line route runs from the 7th Street/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles to the Downtown Long Beach station in the city of Long Beach, California. The Blue Line is also the oldest of all the current rail lines in the Los Angeles area having been in operation since July 14 of 1990.
The Expo Line, which is the newest and most recent one opened in 2012 and goes from the 7th Street/Metro Center station in Los Angeles all the way to the Downtown Santa Monica station in Santa Monica, California.
The route of the Green Line which debuted in August of 1995 currently starts at the Redondo Beach station in the west from Redondo Beach, California and runs all the way to the Norwalk Station in Norwalk, California in the east. There will also be a couple of future extension projects over the next few years in which the Green Line will be connected to the upcoming future Crenshaw/LAX line which is scheduled to be opened sometime in late 2019.
The other possible future extension project for the Green Line is the South Bay extension which, if built, would run from the Redondo Beach station and head southeast to the Torrance Regional Transit Center (RTC) in Torrance, California. This extension project seems to be a ways off from happening since it would not be opening until sometime between the years of 2030 and 2033.
The other current lines on the system are of the heavy rail type that runs entirely underground like a subway train. They are the Red and Purple Lines. The Red Line opened on January 30, 1993 and currently runs from Union Station in the south all the way to the North Hollywood station in the north. While there have been discussions about possible extensions of the line to the North, South, East and the Arts District, it appears that there are no firm plans in place as of right now to extend the Red Line anytime soon.
The Purple Line was also opened on January 30, 1993 and currently goes from Union Station in the east all the way to the Wilshire/Western station in the west. Unlike the Red Line, there is a future extension plan in place to extend the Purple Line from the Wilshire/Western station all the way to the new Westwood/VA Hospital station by the year 2026.
Besides those lines and extensions mentioned above, there will also be a mostly underground Regional Connector light rail line that will connect the current Blue and Expo lines to the current version of the Gold Line and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. This Regional Connector line is supposed to be opening by sometime in December of 2021.
Finally the only other transit project here in the Los Angeles area that is currently in the under construction phase is the Airport Metro Connector automated people mover train which will connect the LAX airport terminals and a new rental car facility to the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system via the Green Line and the new Crenshaw/LAX line at the new Aviation/96th Street station which is currently under construction. This station is expected to be opened by sometime in the year 2021.
While it is true that my family and I have had the opportunity to ride on all of the lines that are currently in operation for the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system at various times over the last few years, the one that we have been on the most by far as I mentioned up above earlier is the Gold Line since the route runs very close to our house in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley.
In my next post, we'll go over how we use it. Until then...
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