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Metro votes to extend Gold Line to Whittier

WHITTIER — Whittier is getting a light rail station. 

Metro’s board of directors voted Thursday to approve a plan that will extend the Gold Line light rail system from its East L.A. terminus to Whittier, near Washington Boulevard and Lambert Road. 

City officials have long advocated for the mass transit system; a group of Whittier officials attended today’s Metro meeting. 

“WE ARE GETTING THE GOLD LINE!,” Councilman Henry Bouchot wrote on Facebook. 

The 9-mile rail line extension will include seven stations, including hubs at Norwalk Boulevard to serve Santa Fe Springs and Los Nietos, and on Rosemead Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs. 

“In general, the Washington Alternative stations are situated in areas with a higher presence of residential land uses, serving more economically disadvantaged communities who would benefit from improved transit access,” Metro officials wrote in a report.

Extending the Gold Line won’t be easy. The rail system will have to cross the 605 Freeway and the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. 

Whittier officials said they’re hopeful construction can be completed before the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Mayor Joe Vinatieri called Thursday’s decision “a testament to never giving up and working and working and working when you know that the goal and vision is right.”

“This all started back in 2007 when it was nothing more than a pipe dream to bring clean, economic efficient light rail to Whittier,” Vinatieri said. “The council saw the vision and designated Owen Newcomer and me to focus on it. We soon realized the Washington Boulevard coalition needed to be formed, coalescing all the cities on the route where future Whittier council member Fernando Dutra led the effort.”

Whittier staff members and council members board a bus to Thursday’s Metro board meeting. (Photo courtesy Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce.)

 

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