History in the making! Congresswoman Judy Chu presented us with a check for nearly $1 million, to be used for our work on the first Los Angeles County shuttle system to the San Gabriel Mountains. We organized a test shuttle to showcase the proposed “Mt. Wilson Express” route, starting from the Metro Gold Line station at Pasadena’s Memorial Park and heading up into the Angeles National Forest/San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Program Manager Bryan Matsumoto gave a tour and described what’s next in this multi-year project.

Our goal is to develop public transportation to the San Gabriel Mountains that increases experiences in nature, and grows future generations of environmental protectors. We aim to:

  • Increase outdoor equity, access and environmental justice for diverse, underserved communities across the Los Angeles area.
  • Improve public health outcomes with increased time spent in nature, positive mental, physical, social health benefits. 
  • Promote a “Recreate with Respect” visitor ethic.
  • Promote forest volunteer opportunities through www.trailangeles.org

Our planning objectives:

  • Connect with community members and collect feedback to shape the plans.
  • Engage stakeholders, tribal representatives, local cities, organizations, agencies; collect feedback to shape the plans.
  • Work with transportation professionals and municipal transit operators to develop a sustainable shuttle program.
  • Prevent trash, graffiti, vandalism, wildfire.
  • Plan for maintenance funding, visitor education, field ranger staffing, emergency protocols and related needs. 
  • Design and construct the first phase of shuttle stops in the Forest.
  • Integrate “Recreate with Respect” visitor messaging, trash collection, interpretive signage, and watershed education into the shuttle experience and infrastructure.
  • Secure additional funding to launch and sustain the program.

Nature for All Board and Coalition members, Stewards, San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative members and stakeholders including Mt. Wilson Observatory joined us for the celebration.

The Congressional appropriation is a Community Project Funding grant, which will be administered by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Economic Development Initiative.

Thank you to Rep. Judy Chu for her continued leadership, our partners the Wilderness Society, the U.S. Forest Service, National Forest Foundation, and CBS Los Angeles for covering this story.

We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress!

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