by Destinee Mondragon
photography by Nathan Hua & Remy Hogan
Never ending construction signs, orange cones and concrete trucks. This is all part of a day’s drive down busy Arrow Highway, a street once separated from the railroad tracks by rows of rich evergreen trees. Now, new tracks are slated to be laid for the Foothill Goldline, which will extend into La Verne. The original Goldline was built in 1999 to connect the Foothill cities. It now ends at the Azusa station. Currently, funding is in place to extend the line 12.3 miles through Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. When the train comes to town, it will undoubtedly change the city of La Verne. La Verne Magazine asked select community members how they think the Goldline will affect La Verne.
Devorah Lieberman, President of the University of La Verne
“The Foothill Goldline’s extension to La Verne represents a valuable transportation and economic resource for students and staff at the University of La Verne and our surrounding community. Southern California needs more public transportation, and the Goldline extension with a station stop in La Verne will make it much easier for everyone to get here from across the region. Infrastructure improvements around the La Verne Goldline station will also help to beautify the area, reduce car traffic, and create a safe and inviting pathway from the station to downtown and the University of La Verne.”
Eli Failti, ULV Sophomore Business Major
“I know the Goldline is going to be beneficial with the plans to extend the track to La Verne in 2026. For commuters like myself, it’s going to help with not wasting as much money as I would with ride-sharing apps. The Goldline is a beneficial and cheap form of transportation, especially while I am saving money for a car. I currently take the Metrolink to Los Angeles all the time, and I find the trains to be way more comfortable than a car. I presently commute from my home in Duarte to the University of La Verne through carpool with friends and countless Ubers.”
Cindy Lien, Sol Flower Boba Shop Manager, La Verne
“This new form of transportation will make La Verne more accessible. It’s great that we will be a stop because people will realize who we are, and what is available in our town and bring us more business. Since we’ve opened, we have needed to improve on what people want in teas and flavors, and it’s an everyday challenge we face day-by-day such as adding Thai tea and just listening to people’s feedback. I agree with some community members that maybe the noise of the train will cause a little disruption, but I still believe the good outweighs the negative.
“I think it is all based on the people and how you handle the situation if crime comes into play with new people coming into town. It is all determined by how we as a community deal with it. There’s always a way we can work together.”
Kayla Rubio, Junior Kinesiology Major, ULV
“This new Goldline extension, in my opinion, is going to cause more traffic and affect La Verne students greatly. We already have huge problems finding parking spaces at 8 in the morning. Now, this extra drag in traffic isn’t going to help us at all. I do recognize that it can help the community in urbanizing and assist commuting students at school, but I believe that the other transportation available, such as the Metro bus and train, should be used more often than they are. The school has so many opportunities students don’t even know about, and I would love to not be stuck in traffic even more than the almost hour commute I make everyday because of the horrible traffic on the freeway.”
Richard Gelm, ULV Professor of Political Science
“It’s interesting that I teach political science, and I know far more about what’s going on in the national government than the city government. Public transportation is the future of climate change. I’ve done a lot of traveling throughout the world, and every major city has public transportation that is just spectacular. It is one of the things that we have to do. I’m not opposed to the Goldline train so long as they can reasonably manage the traffic. It’s not ideal from a homeowner’s perspective, but then again life goes on, and the reality is that it’s a need. I don’t think it would be right to fight it. It’s perfect for the University, it’s perfect for the Fair, and the location sounds great.”
Brooke Grasso, ULV Admission Counselor
“I’m excited for the Goldline to come to La Verne for how convenient it will be to go out and explore without having to worry about traffic, but I definitely recognize the sound issues that come along with it. I live so close to the Montclair Metrolink station, that my bedroom window literally looks over the tracks. Just last night I finally started to fall asleep, but the train started to go by, and the rumbling woke me up. It goes by as late as 11 p.m. and wakes me up around 5 a.m. every morning.
About every five minutes, someone comes over the loud speaker to make announcements, and I have memorized the sound of his voice; I can hear it from almost anywhere in my apartment. I moved there to purposely be close to the train when I needed to commute to LA, but now that I am working at La Verne, the train is more of a pain to be living by. There are also always at least a few people sleeping at the station, no matter the time of day or night. I don’t mind them always there, but I do make sure I close my windows since I am so close we could make eye contact while I am sitting in bed. Having said all this, even though there are a few downsides to the Goldline coming to La Verne, I think that there are more benefits. Everyone always complains that there is nothing to do in La Verne, so now they can hop on the train and be just about anywhere.”