More Metro options will benefit Pomona economy

By Chloe Saunders

While watching the evening news after a long, hard day of work you hear the anchor mention Pomona and you automatically expect to hear about a murder on White Avenue or a mugging on Mission Boulevard. Rarely mentioned is the culture that lives within city limits – a city full of universities and historical areas such as the Lincoln Park Historical District.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Pomona is $48,993, and compared to its neighbors – Chino Hills at $97,609 and Diamond Bar at $90,901- citizens are barely getting by, with 22 percent of Pomona residents below the poverty line.

It is a mystery to most why Pomona is not doing as well as the surrounding cities and questions arise about how this issue can be resolved.

The answer is a change in transportation services. In order to inform the rest of Los Angeles County that Pomona is more than a “dangerous” town, people need better options of access into the city to contribute to the Pomona economy and image.

Around universities like Cal Poly Pomona and Devry University, there are bike lanes to allow students to commute easier, but this is only practical for those within the city who need to get from point A to a nearby point B.

Downtown Pomona has a Metrolink station that is used by the Riverside line running from the L.A. Union Station to the Riverside-Downtown station. The problem is that the line has a severely limited schedule that is only built for commuters trying to get into the city for work. Because the line only runs Monday through Friday until approximately 7 p.m., Friday nightlife and weekend visitors are completely disregarded.

The Riverside line is the only other line in the area and is on the Pomona-La Verne border and does run on the weekend. The predominant issue with this station is that it would take at least an hour to walk to the downtown area and would require a rider to walk over the 10 freeway.

Those who oppose the idea of public transit being a key aid in Pomona’s economic improvement might claim that the schedule is just too inconvenient for people to travel back and forth from Pomona, but their worries may soon be soothed.

In June 2016, Pomona allowed Foothill Transit to absorb two lines within the city that once belonged to the Los Angeles Metro. Line 190 provides stops not only at CPP, but also at Mt. San Antonio College and Citrus Valley Intercommunity Hospital, while Line 194 has stops that lead into El Monte, City of Industry and La Puente along with a stop at CPP. These two new lines, along with the creation of even more lines, will help bring more people into the city by providing easier access to all that the city has to offer.

Felicia Friesema, a member of the Foothill Transit marketing team, stated that the lines were added to ease the transitions between lines, since many riders need to use both the Foothill Transit and Los Angeles Metro. Rather than needing two different bus passes, riders can now get around Pomona with only one pass, making the city more accessible to those within and without the city.

These changes serve as a clear identifier of hope for the city to grow its economy and there are signs of more change coming in the near future. In the past couple of years, the city has worked on new construction projects to try to grow the economy of Pomona.

The Rio Rancho Towne Center has opened two different phases full of popular businesses including Target, Ross Dress for Less and Planet Fitness. The center also houses a local restaurant chain called Corky’s Homestyle Kitchen and Bakery that has nine other locations throughout Riverside and San Bernardino County. The issue? People need transportation to access these new businesses.

The city is heading in the right direction with the economy growing each year and expanding access to transportation services. The next step is to create a broader train schedule that runs later in the evening and over the weekend.

One day, the Metro will become more than just a commuter train – it will become a gateway to a city full of life with a positive reputation.

The Metro will benefit Pomona economy

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

The Metro will benefit Pomona economy

Metro will benefit Pomona

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

Metro will benefit Pomona

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