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In Fall 2017, Foothill Gold Line contracted with the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU in order to conduct an intercept survey on parking needs for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension. The study involved intercept surveys with 1,518 adults arriving and departing from six stations: South Pasadena, Fillmore, Sierra Madre Village, Azusa Downtown, Monrovia, and Arcadia. An additional 447 respondents completed the survey. However since they started their Foothill Gold Line travels outside the six stations they were removed from much of the analysis. Subjects were surveyed between 3:00 pm-8:00 pm on November 1-2, 7-9, and 14-16, with rotating station assignments and field researchers each day. A team of three to seven student field researchers and one field supervisor surveyed riders at two to three locations each day. The protocol for this study involved asking potential respondents a screener to ensure that the person was at least 18 years old. A skip pattern of every other person was also utilized to ensure unbiased collection of data during a rush of potential respondents. The survey was also translated into Spanish, and Spanish speakers were available to ask screener questions and answer any questions respondents might have. Data are weighted for accuracy based on average onboarding numbers by station, provided by Metro. Those riders who began at a station off of the Foothill Gold Line (both including and not including Union Station) are not included in weighted percentages. For the purposes of this report, numbers by station, including both “other” categories, are included. The margin of error is ±2.0% for the core sample of 1,518 respondents.


The following report consists of five sections: overall weighted toplines, questions by station (including then excluding the “other” categories”), weighted questions by parking cost, and weighted questions by phase. The crosstabs provide insight into parking efficacy at each station, parking efficacy based on the cost of parking at each station, as well as parking efficacy depending on whether the station falls into phase one or phase two. To start, most riders generally drive, bike, walk, or skateboard to their station, while those who do not drive do so because the station is a walkable or bikeable distance, and/or because they do not have a vehicle available. Riders who do arrive by car or motorcycle are likely to park in a Metro structure or lot because of free parking or convenience. However, even at paid parking stations, riders are most likely to park in a Metro parking lot or structure as opposed to parking on the street or in a non-Metro lot/structure. Only about 1 out of 5 riders who start at stations with free parking said that they switched stations after paid parking was implemented to avoid the fees. Yet, a majority of riders still use the station closest to their home, regardless of whether parking is paid or free. For the majority of riders, the distance from home to the closest station is less than 10 minutes, and is less than 20 minutes for nearly everyone else. Finally, Phase 2 stations have a higher proportion of drivers, as well as do stations with free parking lots. The accuracy of these data is indicated by high response rates and low margin of error.

Publication Date


Recommended Citation for Data Brief

Foothill Gold Line. Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California.

Foothill Gold Line