More people in Southern California turning to trains amid rising gas prices
As Southern Californians continue to feel pain at the pumps, more people are considering public transit.
"Why drive? It's too expensive!" a commuter on the San Bernardino Metrolink told FOX 11.
He's not alone.
Since Los Angeles gas prices started to really spike on March 3, Metrolink officials say ridership has been growing with last Tuesday peaking – up 8% from the week before – the highest increase since the Fall of 2021 when COVID-19 restrictions forced a 30% reduction in services.
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"We were already seeing more traffic in trains since more people were going back to work" says CEO Darren Kettle.
"Gas prices definitely are having an impact and we are getting ready," Kettle adds.
He explains they are restoring much of the services that were previously reduced during the pandemic. Kettle said 26 more trains will be added for service on April 4.
They have also decided to keep some price-saving options, like the 5-Day Flex Pass (5 roundtrip tickets at a 10% discount). Right now, they are good for 30 days but they may expand the pass to be 10 tickets for 60 days.
Also staying is the kids ride free on weekend pass (with paying adults) and the Saturday-Sunday $10 to travel anywhere for adults option.
Keep in mind that Metrolink happens to be the first railroad in the world operating on renewable diesel, which helps, but doesn’t completely protect them from fuel price increases. Kettle explains it’s too early to tell if they will be impacted, but he believes that commuting by train will remain a much cheaper option than fueling up your car.
For information on fares, and schedules, as they are restored, click here.
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