Skip Navigation


Metrolink met the challenges of 2020 with optimism and innovation. We asked our customers and employees for their input, and responded with smarter, better solutions and accelerated the work necessary to emerge from COVID-19 more essential then ever. Let's reflect on what we’ve accomplished as we continue to move forward, together.

Scroll / drag
A Metrolink employee wiping down a seat on a Metrolink train

Wednesday, March 4

LA County declares a local state of emergency along with the City of Los Angeles. In response, Metrolink...

Read More

Wednesday, March 4 (continued)

  • Increases the number of cleaning staff so passenger cars are cleaned more frequently throughout the day. Accelerates cleaning trains from every other day to every day.
  • Modifies cleaning protocol to include “touch point sanitation,” which includes disinfecting and wiping down surfaces such as doors, restrooms, head and armrests, handrails, tables and trash areas using disinfecting products.
  • Ensures that hand sanitizers onboard all trains are filled more often.
  • Friday, March 6

    Metrolink ridership drops by 3% and is followed by a double digit drop-off of 17% the following week.

  • Wednesday, March 11

    The World Health Organization declares a global pandemic.

  • Thursday, March 12

    Governor Newsom declares that mass gatherings should be postponed or canceled to slow the spread of the virus. In response, Metrolink CEO announces suspension of all agency travel, and directs that any third-party meetings with vendors and consultants be conducted by phone or virtually.

  • Friday, March 13

    The White House declares a national emergency. Metrolink’s ridership drops by 25%. In response to local cancellation of K-12 in-person learning, Metrolink CEO announces that all non-mission critical positions will work from home five days a week effective Monday, March 16.

  • Wednesday, March 18

    Metrolink modifies Monthly Pass Credit/Refund Policy to relax refund eligibility requirements for monthly pass holders. They can now receive a credit valid through June 30, 2021.

Remain at least 6 feet apart. wear a face mask

Thursday, March 19

Gov. Gavin Newsom orders (PDF) (opens in new window) all Californians, except non-essential workers, to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With ridership down by 74%, Metrolink posted signs at all facilities advising of the need for physical distancing for the few remaining employees whose role does not allow them to work remotely.

  • Monday, March 23

    Metrolink installs 12 additional new optic scanners at LA Metro’s Culver City and La Cienega rail stations, allowing ticket holders the ability to seamlessly transfer over to LA Metro services.

A Metrolink train at a train station

Wednesday, March 25

Metrolink retires Engine 882 — the final Tier 0 locomotive remaining in its fleet. It is replaced by a Tier IV locomotive which reduces emissions by 85% compared to Tier 0 locomotives — an important step toward the agency’s zero emissions future.

Temporary service reduction

Thursday, March 26

With average ridership levels decreasing by 87%, Metrolink temporarily reduces train schedule. New schedule ensures essential service during peak times, maintains as many connections as possible, and allows space for physical distancing aboard trains.

  • Wednesday, April 1

    Metrolink Rehabilitation team meets with Operations to accelerate the delivery of Track and Structures Rehabilitation Projects across all of Metrolink’s service lines, due to the reduced service.

Two Metrolink employees take a selfie wearing homemade cloth face masks

Monday, April 6

In response to the latest CDC guidance, Metrolink employees demonstrate creativity with their homemade cloth face masks.

  • Wednesday, April 8

    Metrolink launches Facebook Groups for each Metrolink line to offer riders the opportunity to connect to one another on social media during the pandemic.

    LA favorite Randy Newman debuts "Stay Away" whose lyrics remind us to wash our hands and not touch our faces. More poignantly, he reminds us to be kind to one another and let angers go.

  • Friday, April 10

    Metrolink ridership hits lowest point, down 91% from a year ago.

Screenshot from a various Metrolink Zoom meetings showing employees on camera

Monday, April 13

Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins begins regular “Coffee Break” virtual meetings where all employees can connect with her to “ask her anything,” share new ideas, and learn more about each other.

  • Wednesday, April 22

    Metrolink issues a Sustainability Challenge to employees soliciting ideas to improve operations, processes and practices that will lead to energy, water or waste reduction throughout the organization.

  • Thursday, April 23

    Metrolink surveys riders to better understand their concerns and needs as COVID-19 spread increases and more people across the region work from home. More than 11,000 riders respond.

  • Friday, April 24

    Metrolink continues to experiment with innovative business solutions to keep projects on track as pandemic progresses. The Metrolink engineering team conducts a digital tour of a rail site visit using drones to bidders of The Los Angeles Union Station Construction Project.

Screenshot of a graph from Metrolink rider surveyImage description for May 7

Image description for Thursday, May 7

Screenshot from Metrolink rider survey site. It pictures a donut graph that states the following:

Once the stay-at-home order is lifted, how likely are you to ride Metrolink again?

  • 41%: Definitely will
  • 6%: Don't know
  • 2%: Definitely will not
  • 5%: Very unlikely
  • 7%: Somewhat unlikely
  • 16%: Somewhat likely
  • 23%: Very likely

Overall - 81% say they are likely to ride Metrolink again.

Thursday, May 7

Metrolink shares results of rider survey, which reveal that 71 percent of those still riding are essential workers — 39 percent of them working in healthcare. Nearly one third said they do not own a vehicle and rely on Metrolink to get to work. Overwhelmingly, riders express concerns about safety, cleanliness and physical distancing.

Metrolink employee spraying disinfectant on a table in a Metrolink train

Tuesday, May 19

Metrolink announces new Clean Commute protocols to keep passengers and staff safe aboard trains.

Watch: Metrolink Health & Safety Video

Read More

Tuesday, May 19 (continued)

  • New electrostatic sprayer is used to mist hospital-grade disinfectants on all areas of passenger cars.
  • New Clean Care Crew thoroughly wipe and disinfect frequently touched surfaces aboard trains throughout the day.
  • Everyone is required to wear face coverings at stations and on board trains.
Metrolink New Ticket Machine

Saturday, June 20

Metrolink completes a two-year project to replace ticket machines at stations systemwide. The new ADA-compliant machines provide service in English and Spanish and improve customer experience with touchscreens.

Screenshot from 'How Full is My Train' tool on the Metrolink website

Thursday, July 2

Metrolink introduces a new online tool called “How Full is My Train?” that allows riders to plan ahead and ensure their train will have plenty of room for physical distancing.

Hand sanitizing station

Friday, July 10

Metrolink more than doubles the number of hand sanitizing stations by installing two on every train car. Furthering the focus on customers and safety, Metrolink stations feature floor decals to encourage physical distancing while train signs remind riders that masks are required.

CARES Act cover page on a desk

Tuesday, July 28

$227M of CARES funding is allocated to Metrolink via its five Member Agencies: LA Metro, OCTA, RCTC, SBCTA, and VCTC. Under the CARES Act, operating and other safety and health expenditures resulting from the pandemic are reimbursable to Metrolink. This is critical to maintain operations and avoid layoffs.

Friday, August 14

To foster a culture of sustainability, Metrolink establishes the Green Team that will work to integrate sustainability in all aspects of Metrolink's business processes, departments, operations and service delivery.

Masked families walking along a Metrolink train platform

Saturday, August 29

Metrolink pilots Kids Ride Free on Weekends, a new fare promotion that allows three kids ages 17 and under to ride free anywhere Metrolink travels when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. (And each adult pays just $10!).

  • Tuesday, September 1

    Substantial completion of the Orange County Setout Track Construction which provides trains and maintenance vehicles the ability to pull-out from the mainline for emergency or storage purposes; it also paves the way for a future maintenance facility in Orange County.

Introducing the new 5-day flex pass - exclusively on our mobile app

Friday, September 4

Responding to changes in commuting patterns due to COVID-19, Metrolink offers the new 5-Day Flex Pass, which provides the convenience of five one-day passes customers can use whenever they need to travel within 30 days, and at a 10% discount.

The front of a Metrolink train waiting at a Metrolink train station

Tuesday, September 8

As traffic returns on the freeways serving the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, Metrolink reinstates VC Line trains 101 and 110. They provide morning connections between Los Angeles and Glendale, Burbank, Northridge, Van Nuys, Chatsworth, Simi Valley and Moorpark.

Metrolink train with APTA signage - Health & Safety Commitments Program

Wednesday, September 9

Metrolink joins more than 100 other transportation agencies nationwide in a pledge issued by the American Public Transportation Association to take the necessary steps to keep riders and employees safe from the spread of the coronavirus.

Two employees posing with a framed photograph of a Metrolink train with a 2020 Sustainability Impact Award

Thursday, September 10

Metrolink is presented the 2020 Sustainability Impact Award in Energy Management by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), lauding the agency’s participation in LADWP’s Commercial Lighting Incentive Program. Metrolink’s Central Maintenance Facility reduced annual energy consumption by 32.45 percent by retrofitting and upgrading all building light fixtures.

Wednesday, September 16

Metrolink partners with the Los Angeles County and Orange County Sheriff’s Departments in an education and enforcement operation in Santa Ana to raise community awareness about how to stay safe around trains and train tracks, and reduce collisions, deaths and injuries at rail crossings and along railroad rights-of-way.

Cyclists walking along a train platform

Monday, September 21

Metrolink launches Car-Free Day campaign joining other transit authorities in asking people to pledge to not drive their cars and instead use other mobility options, such as riding Metrolink, cycling and walking. The effort is a central part of Metrolink’s campaign in support of International Car Free Day and Bike to Work Day on September 22, which seek to encourage the community to try more environmentally friendly mobility solutions instead of driving their cars.

5 point recovery plan graphic Image description for September 25

Image description for Friday, September 25

Graphic describing Metrolink's 5-Point Recovery Plan:

  1. Health and Safety
  2. Operational transparency
  3. Triple bottom line
  4. Future-proof operations
  5. Sustainable financial performance

Friday, September 25

Metrolink’s Board approves a 5-Point Recovery Plan to guide the agency’s post-COVID-recovery. The plan’s five points address health and safety, operational transparency, the triple bottom line (environment and social equity as well as economics), future-proofing operations and sustainable financial performance.

  • Friday, October 2

    Metrolink offers week-long virtual Health and Wellness fair to provide relevant health information to employees.

SoCal Explorer

Wednesday, October 14

Metrolink launches the SoCal Explorer program that rewards riders by enabling them to earn one point for every mile they travel, which they can redeem for free tickets.

Screenshot from Explore SoCal with Metrolink website

Friday, October 23

Metrolink helps SoCal residents explore familiar and new destinations throughout the region easily accessible by train with a new digital content hub Explore.

  • Monday, October 26

    Metrolink Rehabilitation team finishes the last project included in the accelerated delivery of Metrolink’s Rehabilitation program, which resulted in over 23,000 feet of track improvements throughout the system.

Customer waiting at train platform looks at his phone

Monday, November 16

Metrolink modifies its train schedule to reflect the changes in rider travel patterns, including earlier travel times in the mornings and the afternoons. New schedule also restores the Express train on the San Bernardino Line for faster service to and from Los Angeles.

Person holding up a G&B coffee cup in front of the G&B storefront

Saturday, November 28

Metrolink encourages riders to shop local and support local businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic during the holidays. Many SoCal Explorer partners offer Metrolink riders discounts and perks.

  • Wednesday, December 2

    Metrolink enhances the mobile app with the Universal Ticket feature so that the ticket’s information and barcode is displayed within one screen allowing for easier transactions.

Selection of new Metrolink branded merchandise - t-shirts, backpack, and hat

Thursday, December 17

Metrolink launches new online store offering Metrolink branded merchandise for rail fans.

Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins wearing safety equipment (hardhat, safety vest, and face mask) and displaying a large air filter

Tuesday, December 22

As a part of ongoing health and safety initiatives, Metrolink installs new, state-of-the-art antimicrobial air filters on all trains. They filter out more than 99.9% of contaminants and improve air recirculation, drawing in outside air before distributing the filtered and cleaned air into train. cars.

  • Wednesday, January 20

    Metrolink begins to offer on-site COVID-19 testing to employees, contractors, and their families.

Masked Metrolink customer walks along train platform

Sunday, February 14

Metrolink celebrates Customer Appreciation Week Feb. 14-20 to thank our riders with fun contests, perks and prizes. The campaign recognizes the sacrifices of essential workers who have been riding Metrolink trains to their jobs on the COVID-19 front lines, helping to keep our community safe and functioning during these unprecedented times.

Watch Thank You video
Sign stating 'Walk-Up Vaccination Site: Mask Required, 6 feet apart'

Monday, February 15

Metrolink offers a direct connection to Los Angeles County’s newest COVID-19 vaccination location at California State University. The CSULA Metrolink station is walking distance to the walk-up vaccination site.

  • Friday, February 26

    Metrolink Board approves the first-ever Small Business Partnership Program.

  • Monday, March 1

    Metrolink begins to pilot renewable diesel which will, if successful, result in 100% fossil free fuel.

Metrolink Customer Survey Results Infographic

Tuesday, March 16

Metrolink announces results of a follow up survey to riders that indicates 85% of lapsed riders are likely to ride Metrolink again post pandemic—an increase from 81% reported in Metrolink’s April 2020 survey. Survey also reveals nearly 75% of people currently riding Metrolink identify themselves as essential workers – an increase of 4% from April 2020. Many are in healthcare and report annual household incomes below $50,000.