The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is increasing countywide Metrolink service and implementing a rail-highway crossing enhancement program to accommodate the anticipated growth of commuter rail and freight trains throughout Southern California.
By 2009, Metrolink service will run every 30 minutes, between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., within the county. As part of the expansion, OCTA and 20 local cities have partnered to implement Go Local, a program to develop feeder service from Metrolink stations to key destinations within a community. Service expansion is expected to cost $382.5 million and is funded by Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales transportation tax.
The OCTA board of directors also recently approved a $60 million program to enhance rail safety at all 53 grade crossings countywide. Measure M will fund 88 percent of the rail safety program and the remaining 12 percent will be funded by nine participating cities.
Countywide improvements will emphasize pedestrian safety enhancements at rail-highway crossings and include supplemental safety measures needed to establish noise reduction of locomotive horns in quiet zones. Rail enhancements are expected to be completed in three years, allowing cities to apply for federal quiet zone status.