• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Metrolink riders now have faster commutes

May 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's good news for those who rely on Metrolink trains to get to and from work. Service is about to get a lot faster.

The new Metrolink express pilot program began Monday. Officials are hoping that the expedited and cost-efficient trains will entice people to get out of their cars.

"These trains can save an hour a day or five hours a week in your commute," said Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz.

Four express trains were added to the Antelope Valley line as well as the San Bernardino line. From end to end, the San Bernardino train is expected to take 60 minutes, and the Antelope Valley train is expected to take 88 minutes. And they will cost the same as regular tickets.

Regular lines were also added to the Ventura County line, and two seasonal trains will be added to the Inland Empire/Orange County line, which will take passengers to and from San Clemente Beach.

Many people are happy with the additions and think the train is a great alternative to freeway traffic and high gas prices.

"I met quite a few people coming down Thursday night because the gas is so high," said Palmdale resident Brenda Jackson. "Everybody is taking the train, and they love it."

"I take the Metrolink to Union Station," said Covina passenger Keith McHugh. "Then take the subway to Wilshire and Western. And then I take the bus from Wilshire and Western to Beverly Drive. It's an hour and a half coming in, and an hour and a half coming home. But if I were to drive it, it would take me 40 minutes to get in, and two or three hours to get home. So there is some time saved there."

Metrolink officials want to remind passengers and drivers that the express trains will not stop at every station. The express trains also cannot come to an immediate stop.

"Our goal is to have no accidents," said Katz. "We have zero tolerance for red light violations and safety violations."

Passengers and drivers are asked to take extra precaution as they come through the stations. Riders should be alert and stand behind the yellow line, and drivers should pay attention to signals when a train is approaching.