Metrolink is bringing back train services halted during the COVID-19 pandemic starting Monday, just as California commuters are dealing with record-high prices at the pumps.
Riders will once again have access to 24 of Metrolink’s most in-demand trains, in addition to two new trains.
Four Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains will now also be available to all Metrolink ticket holders, adding Saturday and Sunday service on the Ventura County line.
Metrolink had reduced much of its services in earlier 2020, when ridership dropped by 90% as residents hunkered down at home in the early onset of the pandemic.
Now, with more people heading back to work in person and gas prices at record highs, Metrolink said it saw significant ridership growth on both weekdays and weekends.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas in California stood at $5.85 Monday, down from the record-high of $5.91 seen last week, but still much higher than it was a year ago, when the average was $3.91.
“With soaring gas prices and excessive traffic congestion, it was important that we bring back more service now as people are returning to the office and traveling for leisure and more,” Metrolink Board Chair Ara Najarian said in a statement.
Which trains are back?
Key schedule changes include:
- Orange County line: Two added trains offering more weekday morning service (trains 682 and 687 were restored).
- Antelope Valley line: Six added trains and schedule updates offering increased flexibility for weekday travel (trains 205, 206, 210, 219, 224 and 225 were restored).
- Riverside line: Four trains added on weekdays (trains 402, 404, 405 and 411 were restored).
- San Bernardino line: Six added trains including later evening trains, plus new Sunday service (trains 308, 329, 337, 338, 339 and 340 were restored).
- Ventura County line: Six added Metrolink trains including weekday morning and evening trains (trains 106, 123, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148 were restored). Also, four Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains that are now available to all Metrolink ticket holders.
- 91/Perris Valley line: Two trains added with midday service to L.A. and a reverse morning trip to Riverside County (trains 702 and 709 were restored).
A full list of updates can be found here.
“As a Metrolink rider, I am happy that my two favorite Ventura County Line trains are coming back into service, so I can have more flexibility to get to and from work,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said in a statement. “And I know from my conversations with fellow Metrolink riders, they too are looking forward to the flexibility our new schedule will bring to their lives.”
Metrolink officials assured residents that trains are cleaned multiple times a day, with an electrostatic sprayer used to mist hospital-grade disinfectants throughout all trains.
Face coverings are still required by federal law on all public transportation, including Metrolink stations, platforms and trains.
Metrolink’s ticket prices range from $0.50 to $26.50, depending on distance traveled. The average fare for a one-way trip is $6.60.
Discounts are available for children, students, seniors, people with disabilities and active military members. More details on tickets can be found here.