It’s pretty amazing that in sprawling Southern California commuter rail was all but absent for most of the latter half of the 20th century. That changed when five counties — Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside — agreed to come together and foot the bill for a commuter railroad with Los Angeles Union Station as its main hub.
The arrival of Metrolink and the Metro Red Line brought Union Station back to life. Metrolink also targeted the long-distance car commuter, finally giving them an alternative to long, slow freeway commutes across the region. Entering its third decade, Metrolink should fare well as linkages improve to the Metro system and more development is hopefully targeted near stations. Source readers: What do you think are the main challenges for Metrolink in the next decade?
Here is a good interactive 20th anniversary report from Metrolink and below is the news release from Metrolink:
LOS ANGELES – The west coast’s largest commuter rail system, Metrolink, will celebrate 20 years of service on Friday. To date, Metrolink has transported more than 100 million people throughout Southern California.
Metrolink began operations on Oct. 26, 1992 with three routes, 11 stations and 112 miles of track in two counties. It initially carried 2,300 daily passengers. Today, Metrolink offers seven routes, 55 stations and 512 miles of track in six counties. Average weekday ridership consists of over 44,000 boardings.
“This is a tremendous milestone,” Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz said. “When you consider the tens of thousands of lives we impact each and every day, our positive impact on improving air quality and reducing congestion…it can be overwhelming. Our employees and crews take great pride in their work and being a part of this occasion is very special for everyone associated with Metrolink.
“The safety of our passengers and crews is and always will be Metrolink’s core value,” he said.
(More photos after the jump!)
Metrolink has become a world leader in rail technological innovations and safety enhancements to maximize efficiency and the quality of public transit for Southern Californians.
In 2009, Metrolink became the first railroad company in the nation to install inward-facing video cameras on its locomotives, while in 2010, Metrolink purchased 137 Guardian Fleet cars equipped with crash energy management technology.
Metrolink’s dedication to implementing Positive Train Control technology system-wide will surpass the 2015 Federal mandate.
For details on Metrolink’s 20th Anniversary, please visit www.metrolinktrains.com.
ABOUT METROLINK (www.metrolinktrains.com)
Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operation and will celebrate its 20th year of service on Oct. 26, 2012. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.