$876 Million TIRCP Award the Largest Single Grant in Metrolink History
Yesterday, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced it is awarding Metrolink and Southern California regional rail state grants totaling $1.175 billion.
“This is the largest single award of grant funds Metrolink has ever received and, when leveraged with federal and other funding, will transform regional passenger rail service to serve more riders and get cars off our crowded freeways,” said Metrolink CEO Art Leahy “This is an exciting first step in funding our SCORE vision for commuter rail in Southern California.”
Metrolink developed the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) plan in partnership with freight and intercity rail operators as a roadmap to increased rail service to accommodate expected population and job growth in advance of 2028, when Los Angeles will host the Olympics.
“This award is critical for Metrolink because it will provide much-needed funding for expansion projects and rehabilitation to ensure we can continue to operate a safe, reliable system for the future in Southern California,” said Leahy. “Our agency is thankful to the State for making this investment and recognizing that regional rail is critical to the movement of people and the economy in Southern California, especially since the freeways are among the worst in the world and will only get worse as our population increases and continues to spread.”
Metrolink will receive $876 million from the State’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Nearly half of that grant will be used to extend run-through tracks at Los Angeles Union Station south across the US 101 Freeway so trains don’t have to enter and exit from the north. This project could save up to 20 minutes in travel time for riders.
The balance of the TIRCP funds will be used for significant investments in infrastructure called for in the SCORE plan, such as adding track, signals and additional station platforms, so Metrolink can provide more reliable, frequent service throughout Southern California. These funds will help provide at least 30-minute service in both directions on key Metrolink corridors that serve Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. Additionally, improvements at crossings will be funded to help ensure cities can implement Quiet Zones to reduce noise associated with the routine blowing of train horns.
In addition, the State awarded three additional TIRCP grants, one each to LA Metro, Los Angeles - San Diego - San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) that also benefit Metrolink service.
Finally, the State awarded an another $300.3 million in other related grant programs to fund construction of a new station in Santa Clarita, grade crossing separations in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties and a passenger rail line extension to Redlands, all of which benefit Metrolink service. These grant programs help meet the State’s climate and air quality goals and are funded by SB 1 state gas tax and Cap and Trade proceeds.
“The projects selected for this round of Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grants make great strides in helping California transform the state transportation system,” said CalSTA Secretary Brian Annis. “This investment of SB 1 revenue and Cap and Trade dollars will help us reduce harmful emissions, expand mobility options and create jobs statewide.”
ABOUT METROLINK (www.metrolinktrains.com)
Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 25th 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, and 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.