Metrolink announces new $10 weekend pass for unlimited rides

It has been very interesting to see Metrolink under CEO John Fenton in the past few months. The commuter rail agency has added service to Angel games, evening service from Union Station in L.A. and express trains on its Antelope Valley and San Bernardino lines.

And now this: a new weekend pass that allows riders unlimited travel. The deal has also been extended to monthly pass holders, who currently have unlimited travel between the origin and destination station the pass is purchased for. It will be interesting to see how this impacts ridership over the next few months.

The press release from Metrolink is posted after the jump. Metro is one of the five county transportation agencies in Southern California that funds Metrolink.

Metrolink Board Approves New Ticketing Options Starting July 1

New options include $10 unlimited system-wide weekend passes and added discounts for students

Los Angeles – Effective July 1, Southern Californians can buy a weekend pass to ride unlimited Metrolink trains for only $10. Unlimited weekend riding will also be added for monthly pass holders at no additional cost. These additions and other modifications to the agency’s fare policy were approved by the Metrolink Board of Directors on Friday, May 13 following a public hearing and broad outreach to passengers for their comments.

The unlimited weekend passes will be valid system-wide between Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at midnight and also include connections to bus and rail across the region, except Amtrak, at no additional charge.

“Our new unlimited weekend pass allows passengers to travel across the region at no charge for our monthly pass holders and for only $10 for those who do not have monthly passes,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz. “This allows someone to travel to destinations such as theme parks and civic centers, for one, low fee without worrying about filling up their car with gas or paying to park.”

Additionally, the following adjustments will go into effect on July 1:

* New 10 percent student discount added to one-way and roundtrip ticket. Students will continue to receive discounts on 7-Day and the monthly pass.

* New 7-Day Pass will be good seven consecutive days from purchase between a set origination and destination.

* The 10-Trip Ticket will be discontinued. A significant amount of lost revenue is attributed to this type of ticket due to a failure to validate, resulting in fare evasion.

“The 7-Day Pass will reduce the usage of validators, which will make taking a Metrolink even more convenient for passengers by eliminating a step before boarding the train and saves the agency in maintenance costs,” Katz said. “Going forward, we expect to collect a significant amount of revenue that would have been lost due to misuse of the 10-Trip Ticket.”


Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operations. 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.

13 replies

  1. I completely agree about the DMUs and more trains spurring ridership. I’ve always promoted that. But I’m not sure if metrolink even has any plans to run those train sets. They certainly should though. And as you say, money is tight right now. So if or when they obtain the more efficient DMUs (they should run them on all lines) they can sell the old sets to other commuter rail agencies in the country that are just starting up and make some money that way which can’t hurt. I know it would not completely cover the cost but every bit helps. Another part of the cost would be made up by the money saved from running the DMUs. Ultimately more service means more availability to more people who can rely on there being a train present when they need to use it at a given time even on lines like the orange county line on weekends. A truly good regional/commuter rail system serves more than just 9 to 5 workers the same way that a highway is useful throughout the day to all people and is used by people doing many different activities besides work commutes.

  2. That’s not to say that we should not add more service. More service would only induce more ridership, but it is very expensive to operate these hulking beasts they call trains.

    FRA-compliant DMUs exist and they are presumably cheaper to operate. I can see these filling in the gaps on the San Bernardino Line. You don’t run a full consist but maybe one or two diesel multiple units.

  3. “With all these small service improvements to metrolink lately the main glaring issues are still not being addressed: the amount of trains per day and the time at which service stops which for most lines is way too early.”

    Extend your hand, palm side up. Now close your hand into a fist but rub your thumb and index finger together.

    The finger movement here symbolizes the solution to this glaring issue.

    The big secret is that many of the trains we do have run empty outside of rush hour, to be quite honest. It’s a hard sell to add more and I’m surprised at what they have achieved so far.

    On the Orange County Line weekend service, I remember many instances of me being the only rider in a particular rail car.

  4. With all these small service improvements to metrolink lately the main glaring issues are still not being addressed: the amount of trains per day and the time at which service stops which for most lines is way too early. On the ventura county line weekend service is limited to 5 trains a day on the surfliner and the latest train leaves union station at 7 pm… seriously what gives? Same on weekdays with actual metrolink. The antelope valley has those same problems as well as the riverside line and IEOC. The SB line is a little better but weekend service is still too infrequent and weekdays are not late enough. The orange county line has a very small schedule but at least has the more frequent surfliner. How can a commuter rail system attract more riders with such low frequency and early stopping time? As it is now it simply is not convenient to use for most activities. This isn’t just about standard weekday 9 to 5 work. And other systems like METRA, Caltrain, SEPTA, LIRR and Metro North all understand that because they have much more frequent head ways and later service. When is this going to happen with metrolink?

  5. @Spokker but Amtrak isn’t included in the weekend pass, and I assume that Rail To Rail for Monthly pass holders still only applies to the station pairs along the VC/OC lines. I feel Metrolink riders relying on Amtrak to fill the gaps need to demand better from Metrolink in term of pricing and service. Late night and early morning service along the OC Line will cost normal non-pass riders extra.

  6. Sweet. Could this be leading to more frequent service? Hope so 🙂 I’d definitely ride more

  7. Orange County has Pacific Surfliner service. No need to operate Metrolink on this stretch on the weekends at all, to be honest.

  8. I’ve never been so excited for a ticket change, as a monthly pass holder not only does this allow me to further justify the price (it is a bit pricey for a college student) but allows me to visit new parts of So. Cal that previously were never thought of. Very awesome change Metrolink.

    …Now if only the whole TAP issue can be figured out without it affecting my transfers.

  9. I wonder if, with these fare updates, there will be schedule updates to suit.

    I agree, if the OC schedule was better, I’d definitely see my family a lot more (don’t know if that’s a good thing! :P).

  10. A move in the right direction, but to be honest their weekend schedule is quite anemic. The weekend Orange County line is a joke and Ventura does not get a weekend slot. I guess it is good for those that live in the Antelope Vally or Riverside to come to LA, but I want to go to the beach.