The students of Mt. Sierra College in Monrovia created IWillRide.org as a student project. The purpose was to use their social media skills to help their community, improve the environment, and influence the future. In 2008, a class of students made IWillRide.org their student project, creating the blog and then going out to other universities and colleges along the Foothill Gold Line corridor to engage fellow students in the campaign.
As with many student projects, no matter how successful, students graduate and/or move onto other challenges. Rather than let the success of IWillRide.org fade, the students asked the Construction Authority to take over the blog in early 2009 (see letter below):
Dear San Gabriel Valley Residents and Supporters of the Gold Line Foothill Extension,
Last year, we started the I Will Ride campaign as a tool for students to pledge their support for the funding and construction of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension. What began at Mt. Sierra College as a student project in Professor Glenn Dunki-Jacob’s classroom rapidly spread to nearly a dozen colleges in the San Gabriel Valley.
Our rallying cry was: If you build it, I will ride it.
Our challenge back then was to convince the Los Angeles-based Metro Board to put up $80 million so the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority could pursue $320 million in federal matching funds to construct and complete the extension.
We gathered hundreds of people to sign petitions, launched a website, spoke out to the media, and made our presence felt at the Metro Board meetings. Unfortunately, the Metro Board didn’t see the light and refused to give the money. However, we were able to generate a lot of support and force Metro to include funding for the Foothill Extension in Measure R, the sales tax initiative to raise money for transportation projects in Los Angeles County. While that effort was successful, our path to the construction of the Foothill Extension still faces more obstacles.
No work can be done on the line until Metro allocates money from the $40 billion Measure R pot. This is where our new struggle begins. Despite pre-election assurances from the Metro Board that our project would receive priority funding, we now find the Foothill Extension behind other pet projects – again.
Today we’re passing the baton to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority to carry on the same message to the rest of the San Gabriel Valley: if you build it, I will ride it. I Will Ride is no longer just about the students. It’s about every resident in the San Gabriel Valley whose lives and commutes will improve when the Foothill Extension is built. We need the funding now. We need your help.
Join us and make the pledge: I will ride.
Professor Glenn Dunki-Jacobs
2009 – New Plan for the Blog
Since taking over the blog in 2009, the Construction Authority has continued to utilize the blog to provide updates to project stakeholders on the status of the planning and construction projects underway for the Foothill Gold Line. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to visit IWillRide.org and sign up.