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Commuters Ride for Free as Metrolink Celebrates Earth Day

Monday April 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES – Traffic-weary commuters in six Southern California counties were offered free rides on Metrolink all day today to celebrate Earth Day with extra personnel assigned to stations to accommodate higher than normal crowds.

Metrolink planned for a 10 percent increase in ridership, or about 2,000 extra customers. Metrolink has more than 40,000 boardings on a regular weekday.

“Getting people out of their cars and switching to safe, efficient and dependable rail service is part of our mission at Metrolink,” said CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Today’s offer of free rides introduced a lot of people to Metrolink and we think, now that they’ve tried us, many will become regular riders.”

To accommodate the increase in ridership, Metrolink assigned extra passenger cars to existing trains on the Orange County and San Bernardino lines, two of the most popular routes on the system. In addition, staffing for the call center and in-station customer support was enhanced.

Metrolink staff, Board members and local elected officials met early-morning commuters at the Fullerton, Riverside-Downtown, San Bernardino-Depot, Santa Clarita and Simi Valley stations from 3:30 and 9 a.m. to thank them for leaving their cars at home. Riders were given Metrolink tote bags and plantable seed bookmarks.

Persons who downloaded the free Metrolink smartphone app between April 8-today received an e-ticket good for an additional future Metrolink roundtrip. Travelers can purchase tickets, see schedules and get Metrolink information through the app, which is available at the App Store or Google Play.

Metrolink’s free service on Earth Day was supported by sponsors the South Coast Air Quality Management District, STV, a world-renowned engineering, architectural and construction firm, and Anyone™ Collective, an industry leading creative design and marketing agency.

For every 1,000 people who give up their cars, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 23,500 pounds, the equivalent of the environmental benefits of planting a 12-acre forest, according to data supplied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

For decades, the Southern California region has suffered from traffic congestion and air pollution. The Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire regions are consistently recognized as having the nation’s slowest commutes and worst air quality. 

Every year, Metrolink service accounts for 8.7 million car trips not taken, a savings of 13.7 million gallons of gasoline and a reduction of at least 120,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth Day is an international recognition to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is observed in 193 countries and has been celebrated since 1970.

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Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 26th year of operation. Metrolink is governed by 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. Metrolink operates seven routes through a six-county, 538 route-mile network. Metrolink’s passengers travel approximately 441 million miles each year, making Metrolink the second busiest public transportation provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.