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Metrolink to offer Antelope, Clarita express

March 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Travel time between downtown Los Angeles and the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys is about to get a lot shorter for a lot of people. A new express train service will soon be starting up.

If you take the Antelope Valley Line or the San Bernardino Line to Union Station, your commute is about to get faster. Starting May 9, Metrolink will offer a morning and evening express train.

"Time is something you can't buy back. It's a very valuable, scarce commodity, and we were looking at how we could get people more time in their personal lives, instead of commuting back and forth, to spend time doing things they enjoy," said Metrolink CEO John Fenton.

To do that, Fenton says the express train involves fewer stops. Instead of 11 stops on the Antelope Valley Line, the express will only stop in Palmdale, Santa Clarita, downtown Burbank and Union Station.

Instead of making 13 stops, the San Bernardino Express Service will stop in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Covina and downtown Los Angeles.

"It'll definitely cut time out, and that'll make things a lot easier," said L.A. resident Judy Burnett.

If you take the express train from Palmdale or San Bernardino five days a week, you'd save 20 hours every month. Multiply that by 12, and you'd save 240 hours a year.

"I get to spend time with my family, walk my dogs, and maybe go to buy something. Wow, I love it," said Rancho Cucamonga resident Abel Gonzales.

With a quicker commute into downtown Los Angeles soon available and soaring gas prices, more drivers may climb aboard.

"As it goes up I think more and more people consider it, but as to the usage, only time will tell," said one gas station customer.

Metrolink says the company has already noticed a spike in ridership because of $4-per-gallon gas. If the express service proves to be a success on the two busiest lines, Metrolink will consider offering it on other routes further down the road.