SCAG Region: Compass Blueprint Case Study El Monte Transit Village
The El Monte Transit Village
The City of El Monte is the tenth largest city in Los Angeles County with a population of nearly 114,000. The City of El Monte has worked extensively over the last several decades to revitalize key commercial areas, including Downtown El Monte. This case study focuses on one of the City’s efforts, the El Monte Transit Village, which is located between Downtown El Monte and Interstate 10.
The City of El Monte is located in the central San Gabriel Valley, just to the west of the intersection of Interstates 10 and
605. The San Gabriel Valley represents nearly a cross-section of the regional Los Angeles population in terms of ethnic mix, income mix and jobs. While many consider the San Gabriel Valley to be a suburban feeder for the City of Los Angeles, it in fact accommodates 20 percent of the population of Los Angeles County, and 18 percent of the County’s jobs. Figure 2 shows that while job densities are not quite as high near the City of El Monte as they are in Pasadena or Los Angeles, they are sizable nonetheless.
The City’s location in the region – adjacent to two major freeways and in close proximity to major job centers in Los Angeles and Pasadena as well as jobs throughout the San Gabriel Valley – ensures that residents enjoy shorter than average commutes (27 minutes on average, vs. the regional average of 29 minutes). Moreover, the City is directly connected to Downtown Los Angeles via its Metrolink Station and the El Monte Busway, which provides rapid service via the I-10 corridor.
In 2006, the City of El Monte’s population was 68 percent Hispanic compared with 47 percent in Los Angeles County. Whereas the County’s population was 13 percent Asian in 2006, the City’s population was 25 percent Asian. The City also has a greater share of lower income residents than the County, with 17 percent of individuals earning an income below the poverty level compared with the County’s 15 percent. However, poverty rates decreased significantly from 2000 levels, when 26 percent of the City and 18 percent of the County fell below the poverty line.
One of the challenges facing El Monte in the future is ensuring that local residents can continue to afford to live in the City as new development projects revitalize key commercial areas. The City is in a central regional location, and provides transit access and other public services to those who need them most. Current and future planning efforts are intended to take advantage of the City’s excellent regional access and help to revitalize struggling areas in a way that also serves current local residents.