Whittier, Calif.: We want LRT

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Whittier, Calif.'s City Council says it will engage in a "full court press" to acquire access to light rail transit, suggesting Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has favored the western portions of the metropolitan area.

An environmental impact report for Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 is scheduled for release in January, after which LACMTA will consult with cities potentially affected by the project to seek comment and input. A decision on a specific LRT route, an extension of LACMTA’s Gold Line, could be reached next spring.

Two routes extending east from East Los Angeles are under consideration. But Whittier, in conjunction with other cities, has formed a coalition backing the “Washington Boulevard” route, which would serve Whittier.

Whittier Councilman Joe Vinatieri told local media the Washington Boulevard route is “quintessential light rail,” whereas the alternative line along the 60 Freeway is in essence to a “park and ride lot.”

“All you have to do is take the Gold Line into Pasadena and you’ll see all those transit oriented developments there,” Vinatieri said, “providing all kinds of revenue to the city of Pasadena.”

Whittier, population roughly 86,000, lies roughly 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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