Let the new Metro line in Cerritos be built

Why the Santa Ana project can benefit Cerritos College students


Travis Estell/Flickr

Here’s a photo of the Los Angeles Metro Subway train moving by that was taken in 2015.

Amy Parker, ASCC Contributor

Back in the early 1900s, the Los Angeles streetcars (run by Pacific Electric) connected most of Southern California together.

The most expansive electric tram system in the country, one could travel from San Bernardino to Long Beach in just a few hours – and for cheap. Cerritos, Norwalk, and their surrounding communities were connected as well, through the West Santa Ana Branch.

After World War II, as cars began to dominate California, Pacific Electric fell – and so too did mass rail transit in Los Angeles.

However, the paths for the tracks never were destroyed. When the current transit authority for Los Angeles County – Metro – was formed, it acquired the tracks, hoping to once again connect Cerritos to the rest of the county.

In 2018, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new initiative to revive public transit in LA – and one of the ways to do that would be to revive the West Santa Ana Branch.

It might now finally be happening. With potential federal funding, already acquired sales tax revenues, and Metro agreeing on the route post-Slauson, construction is likely to soon begin.

The project is going to have two major stations which will help serve Cerritos College – Pioneer Station, which connects to buses that pass through the college, and Bellflower Station, which connects to the already-used C Line to get to Cerritos.

Many students are already coming to Cerritos College from all over the Los Angeles area.

As one of the state’s top community colleges, I personally know people who come from Pico Rivera and Downtown LA – despite them having many closer options for education.

These people currently have to drive to get to Cerritos, despite our GoPass system, because of the number of transfers it would take to get to the college.

With the new line, this would no longer be the case – these communities would be connected nearly directly to the college. Students near the college would also be able to travel to Downtown LA and other communities in the county more easily, increasing their range of job opportunities.

Right now, the largest barrier to the line being worked on is the City of Cerritos.

The City currently has an active lawsuit against Metro to impede work on the line, as it wants to build new underground tunnels instead of using the existing at-grade infrastructure.

If students work to change the City’s goal and endorse the line alongside the other 11 cities, we can finally realize the benefits of the West Santa Ana Branch.