The Transit Coalition’s “Simplified Network” Could Create Millions for Metrolink

12_17_09_header.jpegThe Transit Coalition has big plans for Metrolink. For larger versions of the current Metrolink Map and a map with the proposed changes for the regional rail system, click the embedded links in the text above.

Last week, the Metrolink Board of Directors punted on the decision on how to balance their budget through either fare hikes, service cuts, or a mix of both until sometime in 2010.  While some riders breathed a sigh of relief that Metrolink didn’t fill their Holiday Stockings with some regressive transportation policy; it seems inevitable that the Board is only delaying what will ultimately be an unpopular and difficult decision.

However, there is a third way.  Yesterday, I had a lengthy phone conversation with The Transit Coalition’s executive director, Bart Reed, about his group’s plan to save Metrolink.  The plan is simple, Metrolink can increase revenue by changing from a "segment" system to a "corridor" system.  Instead of having all routes begin and end in Union Station the segments are combined to create larger corridors.  The segments that currently end in Oceanside and Montalvo would be combined as would the current red, green and blue segments.   Basically, the trains run through Union Station after a stop instead of just stopping there. 

But can that really increase the number of passengers to such a level to avoid hikes and/or cuts that could cripple the agency for years?  The Transit Coalition thinks it can:

"When riders know they can get from one place to another without the uncertainty of having to transfer, ridership goes up twenty-five percent," promises Reed, "In the northeast corridor it used to be that you couldn’t get from Boston to Washington without a transfer and a delay.  When they connected the Washington to New York and New York to Boston segments into the Northeast Corridor, ridership shot up."

Under the Coalition’s plan, the system would become more efficient not
just because it would open up the system more, but also because it
would save the agency millions of dollars in efficiencies.  The cost of
labor would go down as would, because of reduced idling time in Union
Station, the cost of maintaining and running the trains.  Meanwhile,
the "corridor" service could also compete with freeways in a way the
current segmented system cannot.  Reed jokingly asked how many people
would drive on freeways if they had to pull over for twenty minutes
between interchanges as some Metrolink passengers have to wait to
transfer trains.

The Transit Coalition’s plan could have a remarkable impact on the system as it allows for the "opening" of the lines in such a way that a student in Sylmar wouldn’t have to fret a connection to go to class at Cal State.  Also, a corridor system allows the agency to re-brand itself to businesses and individuals that haven’t taken advantage of the system in the past.  A cash-out parking plan may become more viable for some large employers that haven’t taken advantage of the transit system to move their employees.  While "Go Metro" advertisements are ubiquitous around the county, some employers, such as the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank that could be served by Metrolink, aren’t targeted with nearly the same energy by Metrolink.  Reed pointed out that there are hospitals, industrial centers, and other major employers up and down all the lines that could and should be targets of marketing campaigns.

"Everyone talks about Metrolink ridership being in crisis, but the agency only lost seven thousand riders between September 2008 and September 2009," Reed continued, "If Metrolink could sell five hundred more tickets in each segment just to major employers that would make a huge difference."

In a lot of ways, the Transit Coalition’s proposals would allow the agency to take the next step to becoming a real regional agency and could change their financial bottom line in such a way that the doomsday cuts and hikes that have been proposed aren’t "necessary."  It remains to be seen whether the Metrolink Board, or their new CEO, have the vision and leadership to embrace it.

63 thoughts on The Transit Coalition’s “Simplified Network” Could Create Millions for Metrolink

  1. When is the new Metrolink’s Coachella Valley Line Extension Service from Los Angeles Union Station, Via Fullerton, Via Riverside, Via Perris to Palm Springs followed by 91/Perris Valley Line of the Measure R and RCTC Beach Train is will be opening year of 2013 of the Perris Valley Line of the SCRRA-Southern California Regional Rail Authority of the Metrolink Commuter Rail Service followed by RTA-Riverside Transit Agency, Pass Transit, Sunline Transit Agency and Palm Springs Bus?

    Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station
    Pyramita Metrolink Station
    UCR Metrolink Station
    Moreno Valley Metrolink Station
    Perris Metrolink Station Depot
    South Perris Metrolink Station
    Hemet/San Jacinto Metrolink Station
    Mountain Center Metrolink Station
    Palm Springs Metrolink Station

  2. When is the new Metrolink’s Victor Valley Line Extension Service from San Bernardino, Via Victorville to Barstow followed by Inland Empire-Orange County Line of the Measure I Transportation, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority of the SCRRA-Metrolink Communter Rail Service of Omnitrans, Victor Valley Transit Authority and Barstow Area Transit is will be opening year of 2018?

    San Bernardino Metrolink Station
    Devore Metrolink Station
    Cajon Pass Junction Park & Ride Metrolink Station
    Hesperia Metrolink Station
    South Victorville Metrolink Station
    Victorville Metrolink Station
    Barstow Metrolink Station

  3. When is the new Los Angeles Union Station and also to built it up under construction of McDonald’s Restaurants right inside the L.A. Union Station of the lower level of the elevator is will be opening soon until year of 2012 of the new full service dine-in restaurant and i love working at McDonald’s Restaurants?

  4. When is the new Omnitrans Bus Route 115 Service from Cal State San Bernardino to Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville of the I-215/I-15 Freeway towards Cajon Pass of the New Freeway Express Bus Service?

    Cal State San Bernardino Transit Center
    Target Super Center in Hesperia
    Mall of Victor Valley in Victorville

  5. When is the Omnitrans Bus Routes 19 and 215 and R.T.A. Bus Route 14 of the new Colton Bowl Bowling Alley is new located at 1177 S. Mt Vernon Avenue in Colton, CA 92324 Colton Bowl Bowling Alley Transit Center?

    Omnitrans Bus Routes 19 and 215
    Omnitrans Access Bus-ADA
    R.T.A. Bus Route 14
    R.T.A. Dial-A-Ride ADA Bus

    Location/Cross Streets:Washington Street & Mount Vernon Avenue in Colton, California

    When is the new local bowling alley?

  6. Our Erin’s Husband are went to catch the Metro Link Train last been six (6) years ago since October 8th, 2004 and also the Erin’s husband are catch the Metro Link Train from Rialto to Los Angeles Union Station, to take transfer to Metro Red Line Subway Train from Union Station to 7th Street/Metro Center and take a transfer to Metro Blue Line from 7th/Metro to 103rd Street/Kenneth Hahn Station to went to the Sister’s Friend House of South Central Los Angeles to visit around 12:30pm to take Erin back home until 7:30pm.

  7. Chocolate Line adds a new Chinatown Gateway Station on North Broadway and Ord Street in Chinatown Los Angeles accessible with Chinatown Gateway, Jia Apartments and Far East Plaza preceded by L.A. Union Station followed by Dodger Stadium and the rest to Santa Clarita.

  8. Metro Chocolate Line mandates, needs and requires to add a new Chinatown Gateway Station which will be located at each entrances on Ord Street between New High, North Broadway and Hill Streets including with upsizing the traffic signal light synchronisation upgrades where patrons in Chinatown Los Angeles will access between the CGS (Lower Chinatown Station), Chinatown Gateway, Far East Plaza and Los Angeles Public Library Chinatown Branch that preceded by Los Angeles Union Station connects to a separated Metro Gold Line Upper Chinatown L.A.’s Blossom Plaza Station followed by Chocolate Brown Line’s Angeleno Heights and Dodger Stadium Station then either Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake Light Rail or the rest to Santa Clarita.
    The excavation job site for a brand new Chinatown Gateway Station is located at a former vacant emptied Velvet Turtle Restaurants at the corner of 700 North Hill Street and West Ord Street northeast corner in Lower Chinatown Los Angeles, California 90012 after abandoned in 1998 and demolished in 2014.
    Matt Szabo also wants to have a new Sunset Blvd. underground light rail traverses along Ord Street with a Station in Lower Chinatown and the rest on Sunset Blvd. to West Hollywood via Echo Park Silver Lake. Here’s the article from Matt Szabo

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