Real-time train travel info displayed on electronic highway signs

Here’s the news release from Metrolink, the commuter rail agency funded partially by Metro:

IRVINE – Caltrans and Metrolink have jointly developed a pilot project to show commuters that trains are a viable alternative to freeway traffic. Both train and freeway travel times are now displayed on electronic highway message signs near the Fullerton and Anaheim train stations.

“For travel between Orange County and downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station, trains are often faster than freeways,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We want to give commuters real-time information to help them get to their destination quicker.”

The train and highway travel is being displayed weekdays on the northbound
Interstate 5 and westbound State Route 91 electronic signs located closest to the Anaheim and Fullerton train stations. The travel times will resemble the message shown here:


FWY                            55

11:55  TRAIN              40

“This pilot project will highlight the time a commuter could save by taking a Metrolink train, but that’s only one of the many benefits of opting for public transportation over driving your car,” said Metrolink Board Member Paul Glaab. “Commuters can also save money, have a positive impact on the environment, and enjoy a stress-free commute. We hope this project will encourage Southern Californians to get familiar with their public transportation options.”

Caltrans provides the freeway travel time information using data collected from its vehicle detector stations throughout the freeway system. Metrolink provides train travel times, which include Amtrak and Metrolink train departure and trip duration information.


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

6 replies

  1. If you are driving to union station, then sure, you’ll save time on metrolink. Chances are, though, that drivers are going somewhere else in L.A. that is not convenient to the connecting rail lines.

  2. What is wrong with a sign that says 1 hour to downtown on the 101, but 30 minutes via subway? The fact that the subway/light rail run more frequently is more of an argument to have this not less.

  3. Light Rail/Subway runs too frequently to have this application though… Its a garuntee that a Red, Green, or Gold line train will be at a platform within 20 minutes. Ten minutes now for the Blue, Red and Purple lines during rush hour.

  4. Great idea as I have always thought there should be signs like this on the 105 for the Green Line, 110 for the Gold Line and the 101 for the Red Line.