At this evening's meeting of Metro's San Gabriel Valley Service Council, Metro staff will unveil the results of independent studies of the potential relocation of existing Metrolink commuter rail stations and the establishment of a new stop at the base of Rio Hondo College.
In addition to the proposed Rio Hondo Station, existing stops at El Monte and Montebello/Commerce could be moved to improve service to their surrounding communities. The potential locations were evaluated based on five different criteria: transit accessibility, physical impacts, community and stakeholder preference, operations and costs.
Currently, the El Monte Metrolink Station and El Monte Bus Station are located approximately 3/4-mile from one another. The city is now in the process of implementing a new specific plan for its Downtown area, which presents a unique opportunity for possibly consolidating the two stops.
The potential station sites are seen below:
Metro's preferred alternative at Valley Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue was recommended due to its close proximity to the El Monte Bus Station, as well as its abundance of on-site parking, potential for transit oriented development and extended segment of double track. However, challenges include an aerial platform that would be the first in the Metrolink network, as well as private property aquisition and additional pedestrian safety improvements.
Metro is also considering a more modest alternative to improve connections between the bus and Metrolink stations, including improved first/last mile connections, bike lanes and sidewalk upgrades.
The potential relocation of the Montebello/Commerce Metrolink Station is motivated by continued expansion of the Citadel outlets and the Commerce Resort, which are expected to draw 40 percent more visitors each year. The proposed site would move the existing station west to serve the outlets, as seen below.
Potential benefits of the relocation include close proximity to the Citadel Outlets, a proposed station on the Gold Line, and opportunities for transit oriented development. Challenges include working out an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad, a lack of vacant land for station development and bus operations.
Metro will also study improvements such as first/last mile connections at the existing station, as with the El Monte Station.
The proposed station at Rio Hondo College is motivated by a growing population in the Whittier Narrows area. Potential Metrolink station sites are seen below.
The proposed Rio Hondo Station is envisioned as a multi-modal faciltity equipped with a bus drop-off facility and various other amenities. However, construction of the station would require the approval the Union Pacific Railroad, property aquisition and modifications to an existing equestrian trail.
Community comments and survey results on the stations are due to Metro by May 19. Afterwards, staff will report its findings to the Metro Board in September.
Metro is also studying the potential relocation of Metrolink's Northridge Station to Reseda Boulevard, although details are not provided in the attached report.