By Christian Manoukian
Glaring red brake lights as far as your eyes can see: that’s a typical day sitting in southern California traffic for you.
For Cal Poly Pomona students who want to travel and adventure within the greater Los Angeles region, driving to and from Los Angeles and the surrounding cities can be a downright nightmare at times.
Drivers in the region spent, on average, more than 104 hours stuck in traffic during peak travel periods last year, according to Inrix, a transportation analytics firm.
That’s 104 hours that could’ve been spent catching up on work, email, social media or, in the case of CPP students, school reading and other homework assignments. Luckily for students at CPP, there is an alternative on the way.
Metro is expanding its Foothill Gold Line light-rail service out to Pomona in the near future, and there are several reasons why this should be a relief for many.
The train opens up many new avenues of exploration for CPP students who are interested in exploring the region around them in a more hands-on and interactive way.
The second phase of the Foothill Gold Line extension will extend the Gold Line from its current terminus in Azusa all the way through the city of Montclair.
This opens up a wealth of opportunities for CPP students to explore the communities around them without having to sit in the driver’s seat.
Car-lovers’ main argument against surrendering their beloved vehicles to alternate forms of transportation is usually convenience.
Taking the train from the current terminus station in Azusa all the way to downtown Los Angeles takes approximately 50 minutes every single time.
Taking a car on that same journey anytime during the morning rush hour can take you anywhere from 50 minutes (on a good day) to one hour and 50 minutes.
According to Metro’s official website, the journey from the future terminus in Montclair to downtown Los Angeles will take approximately 75 minutes.
If your drive is during rush hour, expect anywhere from an hour and 10 minutes to two hours and 20 minutes to get you to your destination.
Additionally, when you’re driving a car, you’re stuck focusing on the road and can’t (or shouldn’t) be doing anything else. But when you take the train, you are free to do whatever you’d like as the train speeds along.
Maybe you’d like to try out the New York Times bestseller everyone’s been raving about, or you’d rather tackle that assigned reading your teacher won’t let up about.
Maybe you’d like to watch YouTube makeup tutorials or swipe through your Twitter feed and catch up with friends or eat a Big Mac.
As a result, the time spent traveling is turned into a time of productivity rather than a mind-numbing bore.
If having the freedom to do whatever you’d like while traveling doesn’t appeal to you, maybe the line about the environment will. The Gold Line, unlike traditional diesel-powered trains or gas-powered cars, runs on electricity. This means that its carbon footprint is almost nothing.
In contrast, drivers in Los Angeles emit some of the highest amounts of carbon dioxide in the country, coming in at approximately 382,396 tons of CO2 per square kilometer, according to a 2015 scientific study published in PNAS journal.
In the future, rather than contributing to an extremely worrisome trend which is rapidly polluting and altering the environment we live in today, try taking the train next time you adventure out of Pomona and save not only your time, but also the environment.
Robert Diep / The Poly Post
The Gold Line
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