ARCADIA (CBSLA) — The free park and ride in Arcadia and Duarte is over — Metro Gold Line riders will now have to pay to park at these two busy stations in the San Gabriel Valley.

A new $3 daily parking fee goes into effect Monday at the parking structures in Arcadia and Duarte. Transit riders looking to park at either of the structures will need their TAP cards as proof of ridership when they pay for parking at a kiosk outside.

“Becomes $15 a week if you’re gonna park here all week long, so now I’m going to have to drive to work every other day, just to cut down,” one Metro rider said. “And if you’re making $15 an hour, that’s really a tax on you.”

The Gold Line has been expanding into the San Gabriel Valley’s foothill communities in the past few years, extending into Azusa and getting another 12.3 miles into Montclair approved. But Metro officials say certain stations have gotten busier than others – partly thanks to the increase in ridership, but also due to some drivers using the structures as free parking in the area.

Paid parking was already part of the routine at other Gold Line stations, including APU/Citrus, Irwindale, Monrovia, and the Del Mar parking garage in Pasadena. Just three miles away from Arcadia, parking is still free at the Sierra Madre station, but most Metro riders say it’s not worth the cost of driving further away.

Metro officials say they will eventually implement a monthly parking fee.

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